HEI Initiative: Innovation Capacity Building for Higher Education (EIT)
On 24 March 2021, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) has launched the HEI Initiative: Innovation Capacity Building for Higher Education − a new initiative to unlock the full innovation potential of higher education institutions’ (HEIs) by increasing their entrepreneurial and innovation capacity whilst integrating them into Europe’s largest innovation ecosystem.
The Pilot Call for Proposals invites European higher education institutions to design institution-wide action plans that will improve their entrepreneurial and innovation capacity across all institutional levels. By supporting such activities, this new EIT initiative will create systemic impact, empowering HEIs to become regional engines of innovation and foster sustainable growth and jobs across Europe.
23 pilot projects will be selected and implemented over 24 months from July 2021. Each pilot project could be awarded a maximum of EUR 1.2 million with up to EUR 400 000 for Phase 1 (July−December 2021) and up to EUR 800 000 for Phase 2 (January 2022 - July 2023). Activities can focus on several themes, including:
- Fostering institutional engagement and change
- Strengthening partnerships between higher education, business and research organisations
- Developing innovation and business support services
- Enhancing the quality of entrepreneurial education
- Creating and disseminating knowledge
The HEI Initiative: Innovation Capacity Building for Higher Education is a key objective for the EIT as part of its new strategy, the EIT Strategic Innovation Agenda (SIA) 2021-2027. The initiative aims to support higher education institutions with expertise and coaching, access to the EIT innovation ecosystem, and funding, enabling them to develop innovation action plans complementing the needs of individual higher education institutions.