Education: EIT selects 23 pilot projects to unlock higher education’s innovation potential in Europe

Today, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) announced 23 winning consortia of the Pilot Call for Proposals for their new initiative ‘Innovation Capacity Building for Higher Education‘. The new initiative will support Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) with expertise and coaching, funding, and access to the EIT’s innovation ecosystem, Europe’s largest innovation network. 135 HEIs and 140 non-academic organisation from 32 countries will benefit from the initiative, which will see up to €27.5 million of funding supporting the innovation capacity of HEI across Europe. Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “Universities have a critical role to play in the development and growth of local and regional innovation ecosystems. This new initiative will help them boost their entrepreneurial capabilities at all levels and unlock their innovation potential. I congratulate the selected consortia for putting bold and promising ideas on the table, and now it’s time to step into action and make them a reality!” 64 consortia representing nearly 750 organisations from across Europe applied to the Pilot Call that closed in May 2021. 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. By supporting such activities, this new EIT initiative will create systemic impact, empowering HEIs and fostering sustainable growth and jobs across Europe. The selected projects can be awarded up to €1.2 million each and will run until July 2023. A second call for proposals will be announced in late 2021 for projects that will start in 2022. More information about the EIT’s HEI Initiative and the pilot projects is available online