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Europe hopes to boost innovation with EIT

Posted: 17 Sep 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Europe? renewable energy? innovation jumpstart boost?

Europe is looking to jumpstart innovation in the region as the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) marked the launch of its activities with the first meeting of its governing board. EIT is the European Union's flagship initiative for boosting innovation in Europe. It aims to provide new solutions for major challenges, such as climate change, renewable energies or the next generation of information and communication technologies.

In order to achieve its ambitious objectives, the EIT has been equipped with a fully independent, high-level governing board. It is responsible for guiding the EIT's strategic orientation and for selecting, monitoring and evaluating the EIT's operational base, the so-called Knowledge and Innovation Communities. The board's 18 members come from the worlds of business, higher education and research, and have all a proven track record in top-level innovation.

EIT's first meeting took place in Budapest. Remarked Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in a statement: "I am very pleased that the EIT formally begins its work [today]. By attracting and retaining the best and most talented students, researchers and staff from across Europe, and worldwide, the EIT will bring significant value-added to the EU's research and innovation landscape. It will become a breeding ground for new ideas and help turning innovative ideas into reality. It is a milestone towards the fifth freedom the free movement of knowledge. The involvement of business is crucial, because the lack of business-funded R&D explains almost 85 percent of the gap between the EU and the United States, for example. Over time the EIT will contribute to boost research and development in Europe, close the business-funding gap, and bring the proportion of GDP spent on R&D closer to the 3 percent target that the Member States have set themselves."

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