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Enterprise Ireland welcomes the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) award of funding to projects led by the Institute of Technology, Sligo, Dublin City University and NUI Galway under a Pilot Call for Proposals, inviting higher education institutions to design activities that will enhance their entrepreneurial and innovation capacity.
The call will fund 23 pilot projects to be implemented between 2021−2023. The total maximum budget per project is €1.2 million, broken down as follows: €400,000 for Phase 1 (July−December 2021) and €800,000 for Phase 2 (January 2022−July 2023). In total, there is Irish participation in nine of the twenty-three consortia awarded funding.
The initiative is a joint EIT Community activity coordinated by EIT Raw Materials. The Pilot Call for Proposals invited European higher education institutions to design institution-wide action plans that will enhance their entrepreneurial and innovation capacity across all institutional levels. By supporting such activities, this new EIT initiative aims to create systemic impact, empowering HEIs to become regional engines of innovation and foster sustainable growth and jobs across Europe. Activities can focus on several themes, including:
The successful Irish led projects cover areas including empowering innovators and entrepreneurs to develop world-class solutions to Industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing challenges and create growth and skilled jobs; establishing a new Cross-European Scale Up Network and systems addressing capacity and capability to foster entrepreneurial thinking, actions and institutions. All awards are subject to contract.
Speaking following the announcement, Garrett Murray, National Director for Horizon Europe at Enterprise Ireland said: “Enterprise Ireland welcomes this announcement by EIT. It is a great success for Ireland and is testament to the capability and talent within the Irish research and innovation system. Higher Education Institutions play a critical role in the development and growth of regional innovation ecosystems. The successful applicants, working with their partners and the EIT, will be able to enhance their entrepreneurial capability and support companies to innovate and scale.
"The EIT is an integral part of the Innovative Europe pillar of Horizon Europe, the €95.5bn EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. In line with their strategy to 2027, the EIT will be issuing a Call for a new EIT Culture and Creativity Knowledge and Innovation Community in October 2021. This will be another opportunity for Irish applicants to compete for EIT funding."
Following the announcement, Chris O’Malley, Vice President, Research, Innovation & Engagement at the Institute of Technology Sligo, stated: “Our project with our RISEN alliance partners will support 120 SMEs to move to the next stage of growth over two years. They will be supported by a peer mentor network and be given access to expertise from the EIT and the partner universities in developing their strategy to get there. An innovative feature of these is that they can submit their strategic plans for an academic award. By making this a network spanning six member states, the opportunities for these companies to grow internationally can be massively accelerated.”
Enterprise Ireland encourages all Irish researchers and innovators to look at the remaining opportunities under the Programme and to contact their National Contact Points in Enterprise Ireland and across the Horizon Europe national support network for information, guidance and expert support in evaluating opportunities and making applications – www.horizoneurope.ie
The EIT strengthens Europe’s ability to innovate by powering solutions to pressing global challenges and by nurturing entrepreneurial talent to create sustainable growth and skilled jobs in Europe. The EIT is an EU body and an integral part of Horizon Europe, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The Institute supports dynamic pan-European partnerships, EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities, among leading companies, research labs and universities. Together with their leading partners, the EIT Community offers a wide range of innovation and entrepreneurship activities across Europe: entrepreneurial education courses, business creation and acceleration services and innovation driven research projects.
The EIT’s eight Knowledge and Innovation Communities work to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy (EIT Climate-KIC), drive Europe’s digital transformation (EIT Digital), lead the global revolution in food innovation and production (EIT Food), give EU citizens greater opportunities to lead a healthy life (EIT Health), achieve a sustainable energy future for Europe (EIT InnoEnergy), strengthen the competitiveness of Europe’s manufacturing industry (EIT Manufacturing), develop raw materials into a major strength for Europe (EIT RawMaterials), and solve the mobility challenges of our cities (EIT Urban Mobility).