Stay in the loop! Subscribe to our mailing list

EIT goes ahead: Council endorses

After bouncing between the different EU institutions in various formats, the draft Regulation for establishing a European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) was finally adopted by the Council of the European Union. The Competitiveness Council (the specific grouping of the EU Council that votes on research industry, and internal market issues), gave its go ahead on 23 November, also approving a resolution on modernising European universities (see another article in this newsletter).

EIT has been subject to wide debate (see ACA Newsletter - Education Europe April, JuneJuly 2007). It has been designed to bolster the development and innovation capacity of the EU by stimulating the ‘knowledge triangle’. To clarify, the final decided structure of EIT will be the following:

  • initial ‘Knowledge and Innovation Communities’ (KICs) will be set up (partnerships between the private sector, research community and universities) that will be expanded upon evaluation;
  • an additional EIT label will be placed on diplomas awarded from the KICs as prestige;
  • 308.7 million euro has been earmarked as a six year EU budget contribution:
  • a governance structure of the EIT will be created, involving various sectors;
  • the EIT should begin to be implemented in Spring 2008 after a second reading phase of the Parliament and Council.

Though still criticized as under-financed and abstract, EIT plans have come a long way since Barroso’s initial proposal. Hopefully all of the discussion will bear fruit in practice.

Main results of Competitiveness Council