European Institute of Innovation and Technology

European Institute of Innovation and Technology

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)- regulation [cite web|title=Industry Committee backs creation of a European Institute of Innovation and Technology|url=|work=European Parliament|accessdate=2008-06-19] came into force on 29 April 2008. The EIT intends to be a new flagship research universitycite news |first= |last= |authorlink= |author= |coauthors= |title=EU nations pick Budapest for technology institute |url= |format= |work=International Herald Tribune |publisher=The New York Times Company |location= |id= |pages= |page= |date=2008-06-18 |accessdate=2008-06-19 |language= |quote= |archiveurl= |archivedate= ] for excellence in higher education, research and innovation. The initial concept for a European Institute of Technology was based on the example of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and its combination of world class education, research, and deep engagement in effective innovation processes.

In its proposal for an EIT the European Commission put forward a two-level structure which combines both a bottom-up and a top-down approach: a governance structure which is based on a Governing Board (GB) and knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs). As of 21 January 2008, it appears that the project will mainly operate by building networks of pre-existent universities and research institutions [ [ Common Position (EC) No 2/2008 of 21 January 2008 adopted by the European Council] ] , without building any new education or research institution and without granting EU diplomas.

On 18 June 2008, Budapest, Hungary was chosen by the EU nations to host the headquarters of the institute. [ [ "Decision Taken By Common Agreement Between The Representatives Of The Governments Of Member States of 18 June 2008 on the location of the seat of the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT)"] (2008/634/EC), Official Journal of the European Union, L 206/16, August 2, 2008. ] The following candidates have also voiced their interest: Poland (Wrocław), Austria / Slovakia ("twin cities" Bratislava - Vienna), Spain (Sant Cugat del Vallès in Catalonia) and three cities in Germany (Aachen, Karlsruhe and Nürnberg).

There is already an institution of this name headquartered in Rimini, Italy and San MarinoFact|date=June 2008 . However in July 2007, the European Parliament approved the plan under a new name of "European Institute of Innovation and Technology", to emphasise its innovation aspect [] .


The headquarters of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) will be hosted by Budapest. A decision taken by the science ministers of all EU Member States on 18 June selected the Hungarian capital over four other bids. The Hungarian government welcomed the agreement and said it was a great success for the country.

The Slovenian Minister for Higher Education, Mojca Kucler Dolinar, in her current function as President of the Competitiveness Council also expressed her satisfaction: 'In fact, I am delighted to see the efforts and commitment on the part of the Member States for the common good,' she said. 'Both the Slovenian Presidency and I personally have dedicated huge efforts towards driving forward the selection procedure, and now they have paid off. The EIT will become a symbol of the combination of European research and innovative capabilities and the beginning of its operation will, accordingly, mark an important milestone in the history of European research policy.

'We took on great responsibility but at the same time we had available to us a unique opportunity, which we used to the full in order to set up a framework for joining up European research, business and educational potential,' Ms Kucler Dolinar added. 'Now that we have decided on the headquarters of the institute, and with the forthcoming appointment of its governing board, all the conditions will finally be in place to bring the EIT project to life and enable it to fulfil its purpose.'

The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, congratulated Hungary on its achievement: 'This is also the result of Hungary's long tradition in excellence in education, research and innovation. Setting the EIT in Budapest represents a flagship for excellence in the knowledge triangle.'

Five bidders had entered the race for the EIT seat, including Budapest, Wroclaw in Poland, Sant Cugat del Vallès near Barcelona in Spain, Jena in Germany, and a joint bid from Bratislava (Slovakia) and Vienna (Austria). According to Mr Barroso, this 'reflects the strategic and economic interest attached by our Member States to this ambitious project. I want to congratulate the city of Budapest and the Hungarian authorities for this designation, which will surely enhance the European profile of the country and its capital.'

The European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, Ján Figel' commented: 'The unique feature of the EIT is that it brings excellence in enterprise, research and higher education together, to maximise potential synergies and cross-fertilisation of ideas from all parts of the 'knowledge triangle'. This is vital if we are to successfully face the challenges of the 21st century.'

When the EU research ministers came together at the end of May, the decision had to be postponed because Poland vetoed the otherwise unanimously backed city of Budapest as the EIT seat. Yet, the ministers had agreed on the selection criteria, namely that the seat should be in one of the new Member States and it should be in a Member State that does not currently have a European agency or institute. Among the five bidders, only Budapest met those requirements.

ee also

* Science and technology in Europe
* Lisbon Strategy
* Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development
* Knowledge triangle
* European Research Council (ERC)
* European Research Area (ERA)
* Directorate-General for Research
* Directorate-General of the Joint Research Centre (European Commission)
* European Research Advisory Board (EURAB)
* European Commissioner for Science & Research
* European Commissioner for Education, Training & Culture


External links

* [ European Institute of Technology] official website
** [ Info Leaflet (PDF File)]
* [ Original press release on the European Institute of Technology from the European Union]
* [ Wroclaw proposition to establish a European Institute of Technology]
* [ European Institute of Innovation and Technology. The City of Wroclaw's Offer]
* [ Sant Cugat's bid to host a European Institute of Technology]

Media reports
* [,,329417883-108234,00.html European institute 'to rival MIT'] - "The Guardian"
* [,,329418652-108229,00.html Universities criticise technology institute plans] - "The Guardian"
* [ Commission reveals plans for European Institute of Technology] - EurActiv

Further reading (choice of seat)
* [ Budapest for EIT]
* Sant Cugat seat bid []
* [ Wroclaw Strategy]

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