Boosting Climate Innovation in European countries with emerging and moderate innovation rates

Introduced in 2014, the Regional Innovation Scheme was created by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)  to bridge the existing innovation gap between different European countries. The programme stemmed from a structured outreach scheme for all EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) to support the integration of the so-called Knowledge Triangle (business, education and research), and increase innovation capacity in regions with little pre-established presence to tackle the climate emergency. 

The EIT Climate-KIC Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS) is our flagship initiative, active in Southern, Central and Eastern European countries where we do not operate through office structures. 

The EIT RIS programme is designed as a long-term initiative to strengthen the national and regional innovation ecosystems of countries that are moderate and emerging innovators, based on the EU Innovation Scorecard.

Our goals are:

  • stimulate low-carbon innovation in countries, regions, and cities across Europe;
  • significantly boost local capacity to implement the highest impact ideas;
  • reinforce synergies and complementarities with different innovation initiatives and funding sources.

Therefore, EIT RIS is a strategic instrument to target climate mitigation and adaptation needs and challenges while enabling regional development. The programme offers a concrete way to design, build and deliver mission-oriented portfolios of interconnected activities on skills development and learning, entrepreneurship, and innovation to: 

  • catalyse fast decarbonisation.
  • deliver future-proof jobs.
  • generate new markets aligned to 1.5º.
  • drive forward adaptation and resilience. 

How do we

Until the end of 2022, we relied on our EIT Climate-KIC RIS Hubs to achieve the above goals. The EIT Climate-KIC RIS Hubs were our national ‘focal points’ in 13 countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia). They acted as innovation community catalysts – being local knowledge brokers for innovation and promoting the Knowledge Triangle locally.

As of January 2023, we moved towards a more comprehensive approach covering all RIS countries. Therefore, we closed our EIT Climate-KIC RIS Hubs, and we will rely on the National Secretaries who run EIT Community RIS Hubs (for more information, please refer to the RIS Hubs Minimum Standards and Guiding Principles). This way, we will expand our coverage and be represented in all RIS-eligible countries.