Two dynamic new partnerships join Europe’s largest innovation network. They will bring Europe’s innovators together to create a better and more sustainable future for citizens.
The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) has announced the winning teams that will set up Innovation Communities: EIT Manufacturing and EIT Urban Mobility. These two pan-European partnerships bring together leading organisations from business, education, research and the public sector to tackle challenges through innovation and contribute to sustainable growth and job creation across Europe.
Following the decision of the EIT Governing Board, its Chairman, Dirk Jan van den Berg, said: ‘On behalf of the entire EIT Community, congratulations to the two winning teams! The EIT now has eight Innovation Communities, increasing our reach and ability to empower innovators in Europe. I am thrilled with this exciting milestone for the EIT – fittingly happening 10 years after Europe’s one-stop shop for innovation was set up.’
Tibor Navracsics, EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, responsible for the EIT, welcomed the announcement: ‘I am very pleased to see two new EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities selected. The EIT’s unique, education-focused approach to boosting innovation, will now create even more opportunities for talented entrepreneurs and students across the EU. This is essential for us to find innovative solutions to the pressing challenges of added value manufacturing and urban mobility – and help us build a resilient, competitive Europe.’
EIT Urban Mobility – Mobility for Liveable Urban Spaces
With more than 70 % of Europeans living in urban areas (representing more than 25 % of EU territory) and approximately 85 % of EU GDP generated in urban areas, there is a real need to invest in up-to-date urban transport systems. The demand for shared, clean and on-demand transport solutions for people and freight in urban areas is also rapidly increasing as a result of many European cities setting ambitious climate targets to fulfil the goals of the Paris Agreement. This trend is set to continue with urbanisation in Europe expected to rise to 83 % by 2050. EIT Urban Mobility will help ensure a greener, more inclusive, safer and smarter urban mobility system.
MOBiLus – winner of EIT Urban Mobility – is a consortium of 48 partners from 15 countries, including BMW Group, Czech Technical University, City of Copenhagen, TomTom, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Automotive Technology Centre of Galicia and Siemens. Lluis Gomez from the City of Barcelona, the key coordinating partner, said: ‘Absolutely delighted! As EIT Urban Mobility, we will reimagine collective and individual mobility, shaping it according to local needs, supporting communities and stimulating the economy.’
EIT Manufacturing – leading manufacturing innovation is MADE BY EUROPE
The manufacturing sector in the EU employs close to 30 million people in 2.1 million enterprises. However, manufacturing in European countries is under considerable strain: increased global competition, low-cost production in developing countries, and scarcity of raw materials. New market and societal needs, rapid technological advances, environmental and sustainability requirements, are also driving change in this sector. EIT Manufacturing will help the sector become more competitive, sustainable and productive.
Made by Europe – winner of EIT Manufacturing – is a consortium of 50 partners from 17 countries, including Volvo, Tecnalia, Technical University of Vienna, CEA (French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission), Siemens, the Slovak University of Technology and Whirlpool Europe. George Chryssolouris from the University of Patras, the key coordinating partner, said: ‘We are excited to win. Our objective is to boost the global competitiveness and attractiveness of Europe’s manufacturing sector by championing radical innovation and entrepreneurial talent.’
To facilitate EIT Manufacturing and EIT Urban Mobility’s establishment, the EIT will provide each of the winning partnerships with a start-up grant of up to EUR 4 million to ensure they become fully operational as soon as possible. Under Horizon2020, the EIT’s current annual funding to its Innovation Communities gradually increases to reach over EUR 80 million after few years of activity – provided that they achieve the expected results. In the meantime, EIT Innovation Communities are also expected to attract significant investments from private and public sources, multiplying the investment made by the EIT and progressively replacing it to reach financial sustainability in the long-term.