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Three insights on the Research and innovation Days 2020

September 25 2020

The EC is working on the next multiannual budget to cover the years 2021 to 2027. The programme includes a recovery plan to help the countries of the EU to build up after the recession that was induced by the coronavirus pandemic. Last week the European Research & Innovation Days took place. At this event, the research and innovation programmes were discussed, which is of considerable importance for the scientific and innovation community.  In this blog we give you a heads up of the main insights that were discussed.

1. EU innovation agencies EIC and EIT deepen their collaboration

Two major innovation agencies of the EU, the European Innovation Council (EIC) and European Institute of Innovation and Technology’s (EIT) will sign an agreement to join forces to nurture Europe’s innovation ecosystem. All eight knowledge and innovation communities (KICs) of the EIT will be included in the agreement. This week, EIT Climate, EIT Digital and EIT InnoEnergy already signed, the rest (Manufaturing, RawMaterials, Urban Mobility, Food and Health) will follow.  

Keynote speaker Marja Marakow, EIC Advisory board and director of the Biocenter Finland, shared that one of the potential measures as discussed by the EU joint advisory group is to provide easier access to EIC accelerator grants to tech start-ups that are currently supported by EIT. This could help SMEs bring innovative solutions to the market easier and faster. Other potential measures include co-investing in start-ups and familiarising EIC programme managers, who manage the EIC’s investment portfolios, with the work of the EIT KICs to help them find synergies between the two EU innovation agencies.

2. The EIC will run as a separate EU agency with help of programme managers to manage portfolio’s

In the EIC pilot, that was launched in 2017, a budget of 1.3 billion was allocated to invest in European deeptech startups. According to a new report on the EIC’s impact on the innovation system of the EU, the total amount of funding these startups have raised from follow-up investments €5.3 billion. By providing both grants and equity investments the EIC aims to facilitate private investors to step in at a smaller risk.

In the new programme HorizonEurope, that will be launched in 2021, the EIC will run as a separate EU agency and managed by Antonio Pantaleo (bioenergy projects) and Francesco Matteucci (green energy).

3. ERC grantee network to launch by end of the year

The founders of the European Research Council (ERC) announced that there will be an association launched by the end of 2020 to set up a community of the grantees of the EU’s fundamental research funding agency. With over thousands of scientists the ERC Association is aimed to generate a community where results are shared with policymakers and the public and to support other researcher to apply for ERC grants. The first president will be Axel Cleeremans of the Belgium’s National Fund for Scientific Research.

Sources:  homepage Research Innovation Days and ScienceBusiness

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