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Joint Statement on the European Innovation Council (EIC)


Over 50 leading European universities of science and technology united within CESAER, EuroTech Universities Alliance, IDEA League, CLUSTER and Nordic Five Tech (N5T) with this joint statement share their position on the European Innovation Council (EIC).

Key messages are:

  • The EIC should strengthen the role of universities with regard to disruptive innovation by adopting novel approaches to supporting innovation eco-systems and by funding bottom-up science-driven innovation projects which complement the existing European innovation funding instruments. It should not be designed as a one-stop-shop covering the entire innovation chain.
  • The EIC can learn from the European Research Council (ERC), particularly with regard to lean and quick procedures and decision-making.
  • An independent entity with a primarily executive function within the European Commission and governed by a high-level council is recommended. 
  • The EIC should bridge between the ERC (TRL 1 to 3) and venture capital and the European Investment Bank (EIB) (TRL 7 and higher).
  • The EIC should offer a portfolio of instruments (TRL 4 to 6) to support innovation eco-systems, a Proof of Concept (PoC) scheme and funding to develop scalability options and high risk and high gain science-driven business ideas for product and services innovation.
  • The EIC should set clear criteria for evaluating excellent innovation, as well as carefully monitor the outcome of funded projects and highlight successes.
  • The different roles of the various European innovation initiatives - such as the EIC, EUREKA, the European Institute for Technology (EIT), the European Investment Fund (EIF), the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and ERC PoC - need to be further clarified.
  • The EIC should aim to become a `seal of excellence` and leverage more private and public funds for innovation. It should not be funded from the existing Horizon 2020 budget.

We herewith respond to the call for ideas on the EIC closing on 29th April 2016 and provide input for the Senior Innovation Adviser of the European Commission.

For more information and enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact david.bohmert@cesaer.org or any of the other four associations of universities of science and technology.

© CESAER 2009
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