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includes the EIT brief; Corinne Vigreux, co-

founder of TomTom and now managing director

of the company’s consumer business unit;

Richard Pelly, director of RFP Advisory Services

Ltd and former chief executive of the European

Investment Fund (EIF); and Birgitte Andersen,

chief executive of the Big Innovation Centre in

London, UK.

Commenting at the start of the conference,

Navracsics said: “The European Commission

has made restoring economic growth and job

creation its main political priority. Innovation

and education have a crucial role to play in this.

The EIT is already making a valuable

contribution by fostering a more innovative and

entrepreneurial culture and by leading to

tangible results – for example helping to bring

more than 120 new products and services to

the market, creating 141 start-ups across

Europe and training 472 graduates.

“We now need to build on these first results and

decide how to ensure the EIT has an even

bigger impact in the future. INNOVEIT provides


NNOVEIT 2015 is this year’s principal conference of the European

Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), an independent body of

the EU seeking to develop new ways to boost successful

entrepreneurship and innovation. Portal travelled to the Hungarian capital

Budapest to attend the event, which took place 5-7 May and combined

four traditionally separate EIT annual events, namely the EIT Stakeholder

Forum, the EIT Awards, the EIT Roundtables and EIT Alumni Connect.

With more than 600 entrepreneurs, researchers, policy makers,

business leaders and students from across Europe, the conference

reflected on the work of the EIT and considered how to maintain delivery

of its objectives as well as how best to involve key collaborators in its

work, realising the knowledge triangle of higher education, research

and business.

Debates also took place concerning the EIT’s contribution to Horizon

2020, a major funding source for the body, and the institute’s Knowledge

and Innovation Communities (KIC). Also discussed were the impact of

the Investment Plan for Europe on the EIT, which sees a redirection of

money from the EIT’s present allocated budget to the European Fund for

Strategic Investments (EFSI), and the progress made by the newly

established KICs in the areas of health and raw materials.

“Valuable contribution”

Speakers at the three-day conference included European Commissioner

Tibor Navracsics, whose portfolio of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport



travelled to the Hungarian capital Budapest for the EIT’s major new

conference and heard from innovation leaders on the crucial developing role

of the institute and its KICs

© European Institute of Innovation and Technology

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



S P E C I A L F E AT U R E : I N N O V E I T 2 0 1 5