The results of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology’s (EIT) HEI Initiative, “Innovation Capacity Building for Higher Education” Pilot Call for Proposals have been announced.
The 23 winning consortia include 135 Higher Education Institutions (HEI) and 140 non-academic organisations from 32 countries: they will benefit from the EIT’s HEI Initiative and will see up to EUR 27.5 millions of funding supporting their innovation capacity. Organisations involved in the selected projects include the Medical University of Plovdiv (BG), University of Pardubice (Czechia), Robert Bosch GmbH (DE), Universidad de Zaragoza (Spain), University of Eastern Finland (Finland), Athens University of Economics and Business (Greece), University College Dublin (Ireland), University of Maastricht (Netherlands) and Confindustria Trento (IT). A full list of all partners is available at the EIT-hei.eu website.
The HEIs will receive expertise and coaching, funding and access to the EIT’s innovation ecosystem, Europe’s largest innovation network. The Pilot Call for Proposals invited HEIs and local partners across Europe to design institution-wide action plans to improve their entrepreneurial and innovation capacity across all institutional levels. The goal of these plans is to generate impact on a systemic level and support the creation of sustainable growth and jobs across Europe.
Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth declared that Universities have a critical role to play in the development and growth of local and regional innovation ecosystems. She praised both the winners and the initiative, defining it as a means to boost entrepreneurial capabilities at all levels and unlock innovation potential.
Each selected pilot project can be awarded a maximum of EUR 1.2 million with up to EUR 400,000 for Phase 1 (July – December 2021) and upon successful completion a conditional EUR 800,000 for Phase 2 (January 2022– July 2023). Projects can focus on several themes, including:
- fostering institutional engagement and change;
- strengthening partnerships between higher education, business and research organisations;
- developing innovation and business support services;
- enhancing the quality of entrepreneurial education;
- creating and disseminating knowledge.
A second call for proposals will be announced in late 2021 for projects that will start in 2022. The initiative aims to reach 550 higher education institutions by 2027 to boost European innovation in higher education and support the twin transition towards a more sustainable, digital and competitive Europe.
© EIT-HEI Initiative