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How would you assess the progress

made by the new EIT Health and

Raw Materials KICs?

We moved very fast with their start-up phase,

which is what we hoped for in December. They

have put together concrete plans for the start-

up period, and in the second half of this year,

they will present their progress to the governing

board and expect to become fully confirmed as

KICs, meaning that they have successfully

completed the start-up phase. The EIT has

already awarded start-up grants to support

them in this process, and they are now

intensively working on the key benchmarks.

Both KICs are now recruiting a CEO and the

wider management team, a very important

process, as well as putting in place the legal

structure to conclude the framework

partnership agreement with us. The most

curious, and most anticipated, aspect is the

submission of their first business plan to the

EIT in September, which will be assessed in

terms of quality and will set a major milestone

for the KIC.


ith 2015 marking the first year of the INNOVEIT

conferences, European Institute of Innovation and

Technology (EIT) interim director Martin Kern

discussed the background of this new annual event with Portal in

Budapest, Hungary. He set out the developments of the latest two

KICs and the wide-ranging impact of the European Fund for

Strategic Investments (EFSI) on the EIT.

How does it feel to finally bring together the elements

of four key EIT events into a single, major conference?

We at the EIT are very pleased as the EIT Innovation Forum INNOVEIT

gives an opportunity for EIT stakeholders to interact at very different

levels, from the European Commission and EU member states to the EIT

Governing Board and the KICs. This was a deliberate choice on our side

in pulling together the different elements, namely the EIT Stakeholder

Forum and member state configuration, the EIT Awards, the EIT

Roundtables and EIT Alumni Connect.

It works really well considering the feedback we have received so far; it

is very much in the EIT spirit to bring different people together, not only

through the knowledge triangle but also beyond, to bring out new ideas

and initiatives.

Innovation outlook

With possible uphill financial struggles ahead,


sat down with EIT interim


Martin Kern

to discuss the impact of the European Fund for Strategic

Investments on the EU’s innovation body

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