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Furthermore, in the early years, it is possible to delay EIT funding and

inject more in-kind contribution of our own funding for the KIC, and this

is one of the strategies we are following.

How do you ensure that EU citizens benefit from the

public funding that is poured into EIT Health?

We focus on excellence in innovation and creating impact within the short

and medium term. Thus we focus on products, services and ideas which

will be launched into the market in the next two to three years and thus

are already close to market launch. In doing so, we will pursue a very

customer and market-oriented approach.

It is important for us not only to deliver a product, but a product that is

really appreciated and creates value in the hands of our customers

from a medical, care or life perspective. Some deliverables will be a

product you may purchase, but we will also promote new services and

process innovations to further drive important future trends such as

personalised healthcare.

What kind of relationship will EIT Health establish with

other EU strategies?

The area of health is linked to a number of directorates-general because

it has economic, education and research impacts. We are now drafting

a business plan and the strategic roadmap for the next three years, where

we will reach a decision concerning what areas we really want to focus

on in a very targeted way. We will upon decide which EU programmes

and strategies should best be joined together and would constitute a

move supported by many directorates-general.

boards, we devote a lot of attention towards

supporting them in extending their options to

fast-track their innovation projects.

How will you meet the ambitious

targets of creating 80 start-ups by

2018 and having one million

students participating in your online

education programmes?

One million students is a big number, but if you

look at the population of Europe, it’s only a

fraction. We are strongly convinced that we

have the right concepts at hand to expand our

outreach to an extent that allows us to reach

our goals in the field of higher education.

Consequently, there is less of a concern on the

student front.

Another key factor to meeting our goals will

certainly be on not overemphasising early R&D,

but rather to focus our investments on projects

which fulfil key requirements – from both an

innovation and a business standpoint.

Nevertheless, we have significant budget cuts

ahead for the EIT. Whilst they have not yet been

completely quantified, it’s likely that these cuts

will be felt. We will therefore have to scale

down those numbers – we cannot possibly

have that impact when a budget is cut by half

or even more. We will then have to see how

we recompense if the originally planned

funding returns in the coming years. Yet the

fact remains: the announcement of the

alteration of the financial foundations does not

constitute the best indication of reliable

framework conditions and will significantly

burden our work and efforts.

To what extent will the KIC be

looking for other sources of funding

besides those provided by the EIT?

The KIC co-funding model foresees a share of

25% of the overall budget coming from the EIT,

with 75% to be attracted from other sources,

both public and private. The EIT funding

approach is different and unique compared to

other European funding models as it is

purposely aimed at fostering collaboration

between the three areas of the knowledge

triangle, namely business, higher education and

research. It is this particular approach that is

also highly appealing to our partner

organisations as it offers unique opportunities

to enter into dialogue with partners with whom

you usually do not have contact.

Dr Ursula Redeker

EIT Health

B R OW S E

www.eit.europa.eu/eit-community/eit-health

H O R I Z O N

2 0 2 0

www.horizon2020projects.com

H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L

I S S U E S E V E N

129

S O C I E TA L C H A L L E N G E S : H E A L T H & W E L L B E I N G

EIT Health has tough

targets regarding the

participation of

students in its online

education courses