Hub 9: European Institute of Innovation & Technology
Innovating for the GREEN DEAL
Morning session together with four representatives of KICs (Climate, RawMaterials, Food, InnoEnergy).
The role of innovation in achieving the ambitious objectives of the European Green Deal as well as the challenge of rebooting the economy after the Covid19 crisis was addressed. The importance of EIT and its KICs was highlighted as they constitute the largest European Innovation Community. They will be instrumental for further boosting Europes innovation capacity and tackling global societal challenges. By interlinking education, research and innovation the EIT and the KICs will continue supporting climate targeted innovations, stimulating green businesses and equipping the next generation of green innovators and entrepreneurs.
In 2019 Climate-KIC launched eight deep demonstrations that are intended to act as testbeds experimenting with new approaches to system innovation. These are concrete ways to design, to build and to deliver mission oriented portfolios of innovations that are connecting different initiatives in specific places within Europe and connecting these innovations in one place to the challenges of change and transformation and civil society engagement. Rapid testing of different approaches simultaneously is encouraged so that one can learn from each other and give feedback to decision makers.
EIT Raw Materials
A summary was given on how the EIT Raw Materials, which is at the heart of the green transition, contributes to the Green Deal. Raw Materials are the drivers of the green and digital transition from linear brown to circular green economy: eg. lithium, cobalt, nickel or steel. By 2050 Europe expects 965 million electric passenger cars, 12380 GW battery storage and 8500 GW photovoltaic capacity. EIT Raw materials addressing the whole value chain from mining, processing up to circular economy aims at securing sustainable and resilient supply of raw materials by making Europe less vulnerable on import and more competitive. It combines innovation, business creation and education.
EIT Food considers the EU Farm-to-Fork Strategy an excellent set of recommendations and guidelines for the improvement of the foodsystem. Transition to a more sustainable foodsystem is accelerated by bringing together the world best minds from industry, research and start-ups together with the bias of the consumer at the center. Chemical pesticides shall be cut by 50% by 2030 and reduce the use of fertilizers by 20% by 2030. R&I is essential in order to achieve the goals. The network consists of around 170 world class partners and covers all the stages of the value chain and additional partners through open calls. The foodsystem has been quite resilient throughout the crisis.
Expected sales, capital increases and commercial agreements were impacted severely by the Covid crisis. EIT InnoEnergy has put efforts on supporting start-ups throughout the crisis in order to sustain efforts and save the portfolio.
For early stage start-ups time and speed is crucial. Successes of the sales team have been show-cased.
An European approach to ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
Big Data and AI are impacting healthcare in the topics connectivity, real-time analytics and ethical considerations. Current focus is on usage of different AI tools and ethical considerations. The highest priority is given to privacy and data governance, technical robustness and safety.
In the manufacturing environment AI is dealing with very specific data like movement/acceleration/vibration of mechanical parts, temperature, noise, etc. AI has to go hand in hand with mathematical modelling and simulation. For example the initiative "Manufacturing Data Space" collects and shares data from different companies to use AI for the common benefit of whole production chains.
Following four points are addressed by the Report "A European Approach to Artificial Intelligence – A Policy Perspective":
- To ensure effective policy in the area of AI it is necessary to take context into account.
- Policies regarding application of AI on personal data should be allowed to differ from policies regarding application of AI on machine data, especially in certain sectors.
- General regulation or policy measures can be considered in relation to algorithm transparency and explainability.
- Regulation should be adaptable and flexible while minimizing and mitigating risks and safeguarding human rights and European values.
EIT Urban Mobility
Focus here is on:
- Automatic passenger transportation: Self-driving cars, driverless busses, autonomous taxis
- "Robotization" of logistics: logistics on the ground, cargo transportation, predictive planning of demands
- Traffic management operations: Traffic management on the ground, in air and sea
- Insuretech: drive risk assessment
EUROPEAN INSTITUTE OF INNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY REGIONAL INNOVATION SCHEME post-2020
The EIT is the largest European innovation community, has supported over 3,000 ventures, generated more than 1.000 new products and services, contributed to an investment of 3.3 B€ and created over 13,000 jobs.
The EIT has enhanced its outreach to countries with lower innovation performance and limited participation in EIT Community activities. To strengthen the EIT RIS, the European Commission has proposed that the EIT supports this initiative as part of its Strategic Innovation Agenda for 2021-2027. This panel discussion gives participants the chance to learn more about and discuss the EIT RIS and its future.
Supporting the innovation capacity of HIGHER EDUCATION in Europe
The session was chaired by Brian Maguire, who introduced the aim of the session, which was to discuss the key elements of the new EIT Action on innovation and entrepreneurship capacity building for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), as outlined in the Commission’s proposal for the EIT Strategic Innovation Agenda 2021-2027. He also informed about the three on-line consultations that will be launched by EIT on 30 September and 15 November to involve stakeholders.
Márton Herczeg, Head of Strategy and Impact Unit at the European Institute of Innovation & Technology, gave an overview over the achievements made by EIT so far and provided an outlook of the ambitious agenda for the coming years, comprising three priority areas:
- Increasing regional impact
- Boosting support to Higher Education (HE)
- Launch of two new KICs
HEIs play a critical role in the innovation process. While some of them are becoming more innovative and integrated into innovation value chains, others are not well equipped for the innovation age, thus falling behind leaders in the US and China. As laid out in the Strategic Innovation Agenda 2021-2027, EIT plans to launch a new action to boost the innovation capacity of European HEIs, that will empower them to become more innovative, entrepreneurial and competitive. The new action will build on successful initiatives like HEInnovate and the Regional Innovation Impact Assessment Framework.
The presentation was followed by brief talks held by Véronique Perdereau, Vice-President for Europe, Sorbonne University, Carlos Rich, Strategy Officer & Director International Division, Atlantic Copper S.L.U., Janusz Janczukowicz, Head of the Centre for Medical Education, Medical University of Lodz and Patrick Prendergast, Provost/President, Trinity College Dublin.
Conclusions from the talks and the following discussion:
- Students are key actors for change in the future.
- The activities of the EIT are fully in line with the mission of universities, which is not only research and education, but also innovation and service to society.
- European HEIs are not only loosing to US and China, there are many good examples of innovation and entrepreneurship in Europe and there is great capacity to learn from each other on how to implement the knowledge triangle.
- In order to innovate, you must have knowledge, and knowledge is obtained by really understanding the fundamentals of processes and industry. But it is not only about technical knowledge, graduates must have an understanding for the culture of businesses.
- People learn when they are at the edge of their personal comfort zone and when they receive good support, so we need to provide guidance and effective support to students.
- We have to be very sensitive to avoid a digital divide in education and make sure we do not lose marginalised groups. We have to think in terms of "inclusive innovation".
- Innovation is not only equal to technical innovation, we strongly need the humanitarian aspect of innovation in education.
- Innovation should be for the benefit of society, and therefore stakeholders should be closely involved at an early stage. We must ask people what they need, not tell them what they need.
- We should always focus on bridging the gap between academia and industry, and the EIT will help to do this.