EIT Regional Innovation Scheme (EIT RIS)

EIT Regional Innovation Scheme (EIT RIS) is designed for EU Member States and Horizon 2020 Associated Countries in Europe who are modest and moderate innovators (according to the European Innovation Scoreboard), and where Innovation Communities have few or no partners. Strategically, the scheme is an additional offer to these countries to facilitate their engagement with the EIT Innovation Communities.

Countries eligible to take part in the EIT RIS are:

  • EU Member States: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain.  
  • H2020 Associated Countries: Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Faroe Islands, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, Republic of North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine. 

Read the EIT RIS report 

What are the EIT RIS objectives?

Widen participation in the EIT Innovation Communities’ activities by engaging players from countries that have lower participation. Sharing good practice, experience and know-how emerging from the EIT Communities’ activities with local innovation ecosystems. Offer tailor-made services to address identified innovation gaps. Ultimately, the EIT will contribute to boosting innovation in EIT RIS countries by strengthening linkages among key innovation actors.

How is the EIT RIS implemented?

EIT Innovation Communities engage local organisations to serve as EIT Hubs in EIT RIS countries and regions. Local organisations are selected through an open competitive selection process, and are designated to function as an EIT Hub for a specific Innovation Community. The primary role of the EIT Hub is to ensure the visibility of the EIT Community and raise awareness of activities and cooperation opportunities for local players representing education, business and research areas. EIT Hubs also liaise with the relevant national, regional and local authorities and facilitate the sharing of EIT Innovation Community expertise with them. To date there are more than 60 EIT Hubs in 18 EIT RIS countries representing EIT Innovation Communities.

The EIT RIS Guidance Notes detailing the implementation approach and rules:

EIT Regional Innovation Scheme (EIT RIS) Implementation Guidance Note 2018-2020

How is the EIT RIS funded?

Every year, the EIT grants funds to the Innovation Communities for EIT RIS implementation. Each Innovation Community uses these funds in line with its strategy and designs its activities accordingly. Activities under EIT RIS include education programmes, business acceleration services and Knowledge Triangle Integration mentoring.

Who can participate?

Each Innovation Community cooperates with local innovators – individuals such as students, researchers, entrepreneurs, and organisations such as SMEs, universities, research labs, regions, NGOs and cities. The EIT Innovation Communities involve the local players in education, business creation and acceleration activities, as well as innovation-driven research.

More information about EIT Innovation Communities’ RIS activities can be found here:

EIT RIS Innovation in action:

Below, a few example activities implemented by the EIT Innovation Communities:

  • EIT Climate-KIC, in cooperation with its EIT Hubs, runs its EIT RIS Accelerator since 2016. The Accelerator supports cleantech entrepreneurs from EIT RIS eligible countries and regions and provides education, training, networking opportunities and grants to businesses at the forefront of climate change adaptation and mitigation.
  • Since 2018, EIT Digital runs an ARISE Venture Programme  in cooperation with local accelerators. The programme, a two-stage competition, supports the establishment of deep-tech-based ventures.
  • EIT Health introduced the InnoStars Awards programme specifically designed for business development and product validation in EIT RIS eligible countries. Selected candidates participate in the InnoStars Final pitch event.
  • EIT InnoEnergy organises PowerUp! – the biggest competition for energy, cleantech, mobility, cybersecurity and smart city start-ups in Central and Eastern Europe. The Innovation Community also runs a pre-acceleration programme Primer in cooperation with its EIT Hubs.
  • Since 2017, EIT Health, EIT Food and EIT Raw Materials jointly run an EIT RIS cross-sectoral business creation programme, EIT Jumpstarter, for early stage entrepreneurs. The three Innovation Communities launched the pre-acceleration to help research move from lab to market.
  • EIT Food, together with its EIT Food Hubs, organises one of Europe's largest start-up competitions in the agrifood sector, in 15 EIT RIS countries of Eastern and Southern Europe. In each country, up to 10 innovative agrifood entrepreneurs or early-stage start-ups compete for two main Innovation Prizes of EUR 5 000 and EUR 10 000. The prizes help them develop new products and services to transform our food system, making it healthier, more sustainable and more trusted.

Success stories

Fejuice and Hydrustent are examples of start-ups based in EIT RIS countries that took advantage of the entrepreneurship programmes available, taking them to greater success. Read more success stories here.

EIT RIS contacts

Download the EIT RIS logo here