Knowledge and Innovation Communities

What is an Innovation Community?

  • innovative products and services to be developed in every area imaginable, including climate change, healthy living and active ageing
  • new companies to be started
  • a new generation of entrepreneurs to be trained

Through our Knowledge and Innovation Communities, we strengthen cooperation among businesses (including SMEs), higher education institutions and research organisations, form dynamic pan-European partnerships, and create favourable environments for creative thought processes and innovations to flourish. Real sustainable products, services, entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists, companies, revenue, profit and jobs are emerging from our Innovation Communities, right here in Europe – concrete results from Europe’s, if not the world’s, largest innovation network.

EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities are dynamic and creative partnerships that harness European innovation and entrepreneurship to find solutions to major societal challenges in areas with high innovation potential – and create quality jobs and growth. Since 2010, we have launched eight Innovation Communities. 

The Knowledge and Innovation Communities carry out activities that cover the entire innovation chain: training and education programmes, reinforcing the journey from research to the market, innovation projects, as well as business incubators and accelerators. The EIT’s role is to guide the process and set the strategies, but it’s up to the Innovation Communities to put these into practice and provide results.

There are currently eight Innovation Communities and each focuses on a different societal challenge:

Each Knowledge and Innovation Community has been set up as a legal entity and has appointed a CEO to run its operations – a first for an EU initiative. The EIT has provided the Knowledge and Innovation Communities with a great degree of autonomy to define their legal status, internal organisation and working methods, and the Knowledge and Innovation Communities have been conceived so that they are able to react in an effective and flexible way to new challenges and changing environments. Gain access to new markets and take advantage of new business opportunities by becoming part of the EIT Community. Increase your innovation potential!

How do the EIT and Knowledge and Innovation Communities work together?

The Knowledge and Innovation Communities are created by the EIT to achieve the EIT’s mission of boosting innovation in Europe, creating growth and jobs, and creating the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

The EIT sets the educational, entrepreneurial and innovation strategies for the Knowledge and Innovation Communities by outlining activities that contribute to the integration of the knowledge triangle. These activities are set out in individual Framework Partnership Agreements and Specific Grant Agreements signed with the Knowledge and Innovation Communities. The former establishes long-term cooperation and sets out its terms and conditions as well as the general terms and conditions, rights and obligations applicable to the specific grants that may be awarded by the EIT for actions under the Framework Partnership Agreement, which is entered into for a period of seven years.

To find out more about the relationship between the EIT and its Knowledge and Innovation Communities, click here.

What does the EIT do? 

To find out more about what the EIT does, check out the ‘EIT at a glance’ page.

The EIT is a unique European initiative that brings together leading universities, research and companies to form dynamic partnerships.