Spreading excellence and widening participation

Funding for a more simple participation in HORIZON 2020 all along the European Research Area (ERA), allowing optimize strengths of each Member State.

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Food4future KIC CALL OPEN
THE CHALLENGE The global food supply chain is facing a complex set of challenges. On the demand side, the situation is characterised by an increasing world population, by an increasing standard of living (especially in the emerging countries) creating...
Added value manufacturing KIC CALL OPEN
THE CHALLENGE One of the major challenges defined in the European Innovation Agenda and which also has to be addressed within the framework of Horizon 2020, is the competitiveness of Union Member States on the global market. One of the sectors where...
Urban mobility KIC CALL OPEN
THE CHALLENGE The theme of smart, green and integrated transport has been identified as one of the major societal challenges which will be addressed within the framework of Horizon 2020. The 2011 Transport White Paper further reinforces the importance...
Healthy living and active ageing KIC CALL CLOSED
THE CHALLENGEHealth, demographic change and well-being have been identified as major societal challenges which will be addressed within the framework of Horizon 2020. The overarching aims of any action to address this challenge should be to improve...
Raw materials KIC CALL CLOSED
THE CHALLENGEModern society is totally dependent upon access to raw materials. Access to rawmaterials is essential for the effective functioning of the Union economy. However, the triptych of decreasing finite natural resources, an ever increasing...
The EIT has been created to enhance Europe's ability to innovate by integrating, for the first time at the EU level, education and entrepreneurship with research and innovation.

To achieve this goal, the EIT follows an "investor approach", which stands for a focus on identifying best strategic opportunities and selecting a portfolio of world-class partnerships – the KICs – to deliver them.

Through the KICs, the EIT develops and tests new models of how innovation is approached, managed, financed and delivered in Europe. After four years of operation, the EIT has created new environments in which innovation thrives and has generated breakthroughs in the way in which higher education, research and business collaborate.

Ultimately, the EIT aims to boost and significantly accelerate the innovation process - from idea to product and service, from student and researcher to entrepreneur, from lab to the market; thereby triggering a change towards a more entrepreneurial mindset. As a European institute, the EIT shares new, innovative approaches and good practices emerging from the KICs for the benefit of the European Union as a whole as well as future generations.

The EIT is an integral part of the EU's framework programme for research and innovation – Horizon 2020 – which brings together all existing Union research and innovation initiatives for the period 2014 to 2020. In order to promote cross-fertilisation, the EIT and its KICs will exploit synergies and complementarities with existing European and other relevant policies and programmes.

A KIC is a highly autonomous partnership of top-class higher education institutions, research organisations, companies and other stakeholders in the innovation process that tackles societal challenges through the development of products, services and processes and also by nurturing innovative, entrepreneurial people.

A KIC connects excellence-driven innovation hubs, the co-location centres, with a view to becoming leading centres of excellence and competing and collaborating with other innovation hubs across the world.

A KIC follows a long-term innovation and impact-driven strategy, operating with business logic and a results-oriented approach to contribute to the achievement of the EIT’s overall mission, the priorities laid down in the SIA and the attainment of the general objectives established in Horizon 2020.

A KIC carries out a whole range of world-class activities encompassing the whole innovation value chain within a particular field. A KIC’s portfolio of activities typically includes, inter alia: entrepreneurial education and training programmes, research and innovation projects, and incubation of, and support to start-ups and ventures. The EIT also encourages cross-KIC collaboration.

A KIC is established as a legally and financially structured partnership and sets up its own governance system. A strong commitment by KIC partners, including financial support, is a must. KICs must remain open and flexible in order to attract new partners that bring added value to the partnership.

During the period 2014-2020, the EIT will be funded through a contribution of € 2.7 billion from Horizon 2020. The EIT budget will cover three main priorities during this period: the necessary expenditure for consolidating the existing three KICs; establishment of 5 new KICs to be launched in 3 waves (in 2014, 2016 and 2018 respectively); and dissemination and outreach activities and administrative expenditure.

A KIC may be financed by the EIT, on average up to 25% of its overall budget. The remaining 75% should be financed from other non-EIT sources of financing (e.g. mainly partners' own resources and other sources including national/regional funding, EU funds, etc).

The EIT may award a start-up grant, from € 2 to 4 million, to the designated partnership in order to support the efficient setting up of the KIC. The grant may cover the eligible costs of, inter alia, the following activities: establishment of legal structures, including the set-up of the KIC Legal Entity; recruitment and appointment of a CEO and other core staff; coordination and signature of the internal agreements formalising the engagement of partner organisations; preparation of the first KIC Business Plan.