EU Commission gives green light for new Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) "EIT Water"

[Translate to Englisch:] EIT Water

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), part of Horizon Europe, the EU's research and innovation programme, is to launch a new Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) from 2026 in the field of water, marine and maritime sectors and ecosystems.

According to an analysis published today by the European Commission, the establishment of a new KIC is important to address critical global challenges such as water scarcity, droughts and floods, and marine and freshwater degradation. The new KIC "EIT Water" will bring together top partners from 2026 and will steer innovation to strengthen Europe's blue economy and competitiveness.

Freshwater and marine ecosystems are under significant and increasing pressure from overexploitation and mismanagement of natural resources and changes in land and sea use. The world's aquatic resources are severely degraded and biodiversity is threatened by climate change, industrial misuse and pollution. Water is essential to sustain all life on Earth. It plays a major role in the planet's climate and biodiversity, and is critical to health, well-being and prosperity. It is also a vital source for the production of food and renewable energy and a key driver of the global economy, including trade and transport.

EIT Water: Developing an integrated approach for the freshwater, marine and maritime sectors.

An EIT-KIC is a pan-European public-private partnership between leading companies, research organisations and universities. With strategic guidance and long-term funding from the EIT, EIT-KICs work with their partners to support innovation and entrepreneurship activities across Europe, including entrepreneurship education and skills development courses, innovation-driven research projects and business incubation services. EIT-KICs help industries to increase their innovation potential and find sustainable solutions to global challenges. More information on the EIT-KICs can be found here.

The new EIT-KIC will develop an integrated approach for the freshwater, marine and maritime sectors from 2026, supporting entrepreneurial education and skills development, innovation projects and the design, development, deployment and commercialisation of new technologies, products and services. Successful innovation and third-party contributions should make the partnership financially sustainable beyond the period of EIT funding. The EIT Water will help to position Europe as a global leader and strengthen competitiveness, employment and economic growth in the EU. EIT Water will join the nine existing EIT KICs, which address equally important global challenges: Climate, Digitalisation, Energy, Health, Raw Materials, Food, Manufacturing, Urban Mobility and Culture and Creativity.

In early 2025, the EIT will launch a call for proposals and invite applicants to submit their vision for the EIT Water.

More information on the EIT Water can be found on the EIT website here and in the European Commission's analysis and study on the importance of the EIT Water.

Source: EU Commission

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