New study finds Climate-KIC and wider EIT Community delivering significant impact for Europe

A new study has found that EIT’s Knowledge and Innovation Communities, including Climate-KIC, are enabling significant innovation impact.  

The study, The EIT – Making Innovation Happen, analysed the global and European socio-economic impact of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and its ecosystem of Knowledge and Innovation Communities, including Climate-KIC, between 2010 and 2016. Climate-KIC is supported by EIT to advance innovation to address the climate challenge.  

With existing reviews mostly focusing on results and efficiency, The EIT – Making Innovation Happen sets out to look beyond those results and structure the achievements of the EIT Community in terms of impact. 

Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, and responsible for the EIT, said: 

“We need to do more to enable young people to develop their entrepreneurial skills. The impressive figures shown in the EIT Impact Study are excellent reasons to participate in EIT educational programmes. The number of jobs created and forecast are real indicators that the EIT model is working and delivering. It can be an inspiration and model for us as we work to boost entrepreneurial skills as part of our efforts to create a true European Education Area by 2025.” 

Peter Olesen, Chairman of the EIT Governing Board, added: 

“Arriving hot on the heels of the EIT’s Mid-term Evaluation Report, with its validation of the EIT’s innovation model, the Impact Study shows the boost Europe is receiving from the EIT Community; what it has already delivered and will continue to deliver in the coming years.

These achievements further underline that the EIT Community has become a true European innovation machine delivering new systems for innovation for society at large in a systemic way. With two new EIT Innovation Communities set to join us next year, this is a truly exciting time to be part of the EIT Community.” 

As one of the EIT Community’s major components, Climate-KIC has supported the creation of over 2,240 jobs, brought 233 innovative products to market to address the climate challenge, and over 9,000 students have graduated from its education programmes with climate-relevant and entrepreneurship skills.  

The EIT Impact Study states that the EIT Community has gained recognition for what it is delivering in Europe and beyond.

For example, stakeholders in Australia have replicated the EIT model for the establishment of Climate-KIC Australia. In the coming years, the EIT Community will scale and grow the activities of its six Innovation Communities, a unique ecosystem that has grown to become the largest Innovation Community in Europe.

In 2018, the EIT Community will continue to grow with the launch of a Call for two new Innovation Communities in Urban Mobility and Added Value Manufacturing.  

Willem Jonker, CEO of EIT Digital, said:

“The EIT and its Innovation Communities are about building ecosystems that bring together the diverse actors in the complex process of innovation. Innovation and education go hand in hand since, in the end, it is all about entrepreneurial people that bring impactful solutions to the key challenges of our society. I’m happy that the report recognises the impact the EIT Community is having through its massive partner ecosystems and its focus on scaling local endeavours to a global level.”

Venture capitalists expressed strong confidence in the commercial potential of the EIT Community’s entrepreneurial activity, as shown by investing more than €600 million in companies supported by EIT Community accelerators. Climate-KIC’s programmes have supported start-ups which have gone on to raise over €400m of external investment. 

The study also notes that having followed the progress of each of the EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities as they address specific societal challenges, the EIT Innovation Communities show meaningful progress in delivering on their objectives. Activities are reaching a scale at which it becomes feasible to measure important societal returns. Many societally relevant concepts going to market have already been observed thanks to the EIT Community, implying significantly greater societal impact in the coming years. 

 
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