Boosting Climate Innovation in European regions with modest to 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 (research, education and innovation), 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. It facilitates connectivity with our established innovation HUBS, ensuring EIT Climate-KIC’s pan-European reach and boosting climate innovation capacity across the continent. 

TThe EIT RIS programme is designed as a long-term initiative to strengthen the national and regional innovation ecosystems of countries that are moderate and modest innovators, based on the EU Innovation Scorecard. Our goal is to stimulate low carbon innovation in countries, regions, and cities across Europe, and significantly boost local capacity to implement the highest impact ideas, while reinforcing synergies and complementarities with EU, national, regional innovation initiatives and funding sources. It is a strategic instrument to target the 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 programmes on skills development and learning, entrepreneurship and innovation to catalyse fast decarbonisation, deliver future-proof jobs, generate new markets aligned to 1.5º and drive forward adaptation and resilience. 

What we offer in EIT RIS countries

Capacity Building

Learning by doing and cultivating and attracting talent, professional development and re-skilling for the future of work with a focus on real-life challenges are essential to create a climate resilient future, while helping to increase the innovativeness and competitiveness of regional economies.

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Capacity Building
Business Development

Our entrepreneurship programmes identify, support and invest in entrepreneurs through every stage of innovation, helping them achieve success and commercial scale.

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Business Development
Innovation Ecosystem

Our innovation support covers policy co-creation, matchmaking, and community labs that assess the specific country needs. It is based on enabling connections to design, work and make sense of a portfolio of connected actions to leverage impact in each specific ecosystem

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Innovation Ecosystem

EIT Strategic Innovation Agenda

The new EIT Strategic Innovation Agenda 2021-2027 acknowledges the Regional Innovation Scheme as a key area of action for the EIT.  Activities supported through the EIT RIS aim to deliver on the following objectives:

  • Improve the innovation capacities of the local ecosystem via capacity-building activities and closer interactions between the local innovation actors (such as, clusters, networks, regional public authorities, Higher Education Institutions, research organisations, Vocational Education and Training institutions, SMEs) and their activities.

  • Support the objective of attracting and facilitating the integration of potential new partners in the EIT KICs and link local innovation ecosystems to pan-European innovation ecosystems.

  • Act as a bridge with relevant Research and Innovation Smart Specialisation Strategies (RIS3).

  • Leverage additional private and public funding, with particular attention to European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds.


An expanding network of partners

Introduced in 2014 to share good practices and experience emerging from EIT Community activities and to widen participation across Europe, EIT RIS opens the activities of our Innovation Communities to innovators that are not partners, by providing targeted support to individuals and organisations to take part in and benefit from our Innovation Communities’ activities, services and programmes.

We are currently present in Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia.

Sandra Vlasic for Climate-KIC Hub Croatia "Being a part of Climate-KIC is like joining the champions team of 300+ European organisations playing the most important match of our lives."


Benefits of being a RIS partner

In all EIT RIS countries we work with (competitively selected) organisations to set up EIT Climate-KIC Hubs which serve as entry points for interacting with local players, mobilising and internationalising local networks as well as facilitating Knowledge Triangle Integration.

Benefits of the EIT Regional Innovation Scheme :

  • Ensures EIT/KIC activity reaches all Member States and has impact throughout Europe
  • Stimulates low carbon innovation in countries, regions and cities across Europe to boost the innovation capacity
  • Boosts stakeholders’ role as multipliers of knowledge and expertise
  • Fosters synergies and efficiency gains with Smart Specialisation Strategies (RIS3)

For more information do not hesitate to contact us.

Get in touch

Lisboa E-Nova for Climate-KIC Hub Portugal "Climate-KIC allowed us to create a plan and an articulated strategy with the Municipality of Lisbon. It has been a program of enormous added value."