The EIT’s HEI Initiative: Innovation Capacity Building for Higher Education is an EIT Community activity coordinated by EIT RawMaterials. The initiative is central to the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) as part of its new strategy, the EIT Strategic Innovation Agenda 2021−2027. The initiative aims to make higher education institutions (HEIs) more innovative and entrepreneurial. It supports higher education institutions with expertise and coaching, access to the EIT innovation ecosystem and funding, enabling them to develop innovation action plans complementing their needs.
The first three years of the EIT’s HEI Initiative, 2021−2023, have been a pilot. The assessment of the pilot is ongoing, and more information on its potential continuation will be available later this year.
Under the first 2 calls, the EIT HEI Initiative granted over EUR 55 million to support 260 HEIs and 100 non-academic organisations across Europe. Up until May 2023, these consortia trained over 39 000 students, academic and non-academic staff on innovation and entrepreneurship already and have supported the creation of over 900 start-ups and scale-ups! Under the third call a particular focus was added on capacity building and training talents in deep tech domains, thereby supporting the objectives of the new European Innovation Agenda and contributing to one of its flagship actions, the Deep Tech Talent Initiative. 16 winning consortia, involving nearly 180 organisations from higher education institutions, business and civil society from 38 countries will benefit from up to EUR 12 million of funding to support their innovation capacity.
What is the role of HEInnovate in the EIT HEI Initiative?
The use of the HEInnovate self-assessment tool allows Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to explore their innovation and entrepreneurial potential before applying under the EIT HEI Initiative. The result of the self-assessment allows them to focus their application on their concrete innovation needs. Therefore, all pilot projects selected for funding under the HEI Initiative are required to create an Innovation Vision Action Plan (IVAP) as part of their application. The IVAP will provide them a long-term vision towards increasing their innovation and entrepreneurial capacity at institutional level. The IVAP is based on the HEInnovate self-assessment for each HEI consortium member, in order to drive the choice of actions proposed for funding and institutional change within the HEIs.
For more information, please consult the EIT HEI Initiative website.