The EIT and its KICs

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is an EU body with the aim of strengthening Europe’s capacity for innovation. It is in the knowledge triangle of education, research and innovation and connects organisations from these fields. In this way, the EIT promotes and supports a new generation of entrepreneurs and promotes the creation of innovative enterprises (especially SMEs).

The EIT’s mission is to:

  • promote and integrate higher education, research, innovation and entrepreneurship in order to create ecosystems of innovation;
  • promote synergies and cooperation between higher education, research and innovation;
  • contribute to sustainable economic growth, competitiveness and entrepreneurship by strengthening the innovation capacity of EU Member States;
  • addressing major societal challenges facing the Union.

Under Horizon Europe, the EIT is located in pillar 3.

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and its KICs

Since its establishment in 2008, the EIT has created the largest innovation community in Europe. At present, there are 8 successful Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs):

  • EIT Climate-KIC: Accelerating the transition to a zero-carbon economy
  • EIT InnoEnergy: Ensuring a sustainable energy future for Europe
  • EIT Digital: Driving Europe’s digital transformation
  • EIT Health: Offering EU citizens more opportunities for a healthy life
  • EIT RawMaterials: Making raw material development Europe’s strength
  • EIT Food: Leading a global revolution in food innovation and production
  • EIT Urban Mobility: Developing smart, green and integrated urban transport
  • EIT Manufacturing: Strengthening and increasing the competitiveness of Europe’s manufacturing industry

Objectives of the EIT under Horizon Europe

First and foremost, under Horizon Europe, the European Institute of Innovation & Technology would like to establish two more KICs – in 2022 in the field of cultural and creative industries and in 2026 in the field of water, marine and maritime sectors and ecosystems. But that’s not the only ambitious goal. The EIT aims to bring 4,000 innovative products and services to market and support 700 start-ups by 2027. Furthermore, by 2027, the EIT would like to include 680 higher education institutions and more than 25,000 students in its education programmes. The EIT has 2,965 billion euro available for this purpose.

Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) approach

The key partners in KICs are higher education institutions, research organisations, businesses and other stakeholders. They implement innovation activities and investments with European added value, including the creation of innovative start-ups and support for the development of innovative companies in addition to the EIC and InvestEU. KICs shall also tender innovation-driven research projects and support testing, prototyping and demonstration, especially in areas of key economic, environmental and societal interest. They are also responsible for the development of education and training measures, especially at master’s and doctoral level, as well as vocational training courses. The internal structure and management of KICs is largely independent.

EIT support for KICs

The development phase of each new KIC will be supported by the EIT with a grant of up to 4 million euro ('start-up grant'). A gradual increase in the annual grant of more than 80 million euro is possible, provided that the KICs achieve the intended results. KICs shall also acquire significant investments from private and public sources as well as increase and progressively replace EIT investments in order to achieve long-term financial independence from the EIT within 15 years at the latest.

Conditions of participation in KICs

Actors and organisations working in the knowledge triangle of higher education, research and innovation may participate in a KIC. The minimum requirement for a KIC is three partner organisations located in different Member States.

More about the EIT and its KICs on the web

Website of the EIT

Contact at BayFOR

Are you interested in participating in a KIC? Contact our scientific officers for specific information on individual disciplines:

Health Research & Biotechnology
Information & Communication Technologies | Engineering & Natural Sciences
Socio-economic Sciences & Humanities | Security
Environment, Energy & Bioeconomy
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