The SIA outlines how the EIT wants to cement its position within the EU innovation landscape by building on the successes and lessons learnt since its inception in March 2008. “The EIT and our current three Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) are proving that there is a need for a different approach to innovation at the European level and we are committed to stepping up efforts needed to ensure Europe remains a key competitor on the global stage” says Martin Schuurmans - Chairman of the EIT Governing Board.
By integrating the knowledge triangle (business, education and research) with entrepreneurship as its key driver, the EIT establishes and facilitates a culture that helps unlock Europe’s underused potential to leverage people, technology and business innovation for greater EU innovation impact. To maximise its impact on innovation and new business creation, the EIT and its investment in the KICs acts as a catalyst and also plays an ‘ice breaker’ role in the EU innovation landscape in that its focus on simplification and leadership could perhaps be emulated by other EU initiatives.
Entrepreneurship is the central driving force of innovation in the EIT and its KICs. By educating a new generation of entrepreneurially minded young talent the EIT and its KICs are paving the way for a cultural shift towards a more innovative Europe contributing to a more entrepreneurial labour force and continued growth. “The SIA presents our vision for increased EIT impact through more KICs, new themes and a wider geographical coverage.” states Anders Flodström - Vice Chairman of the EIT Governing Board and Chairman of the SIA Working Group. “Through the proposed new KIC themes we do not only address today’s Grand Challenges but also provide viable and sustainable solutions”, he adds.
European innovation cannot thrive on the current contribution to the KICs and cannot afford not to significantly step up its investment. Shifting from a system based on control of expenditure towards a trust-based system, focusing on outcomes (impact) and rewarding performance is perceived as “the” next major challenge for the EIT. In the years to come and through the implementation of the SIA and its increased budget request, the EIT will focus on becoming an entrepreneurially driven innovation impact investment institute.