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“The greatest elements of innovation were born

in Europe – leading universities and

entrepreneurship that drives growth. Europe

has an enormous diversity potential which

needs to be capitalised upon. We need a

supportive environment, market stability, and

flexible regulations, but most of all we need the

autonomy and a change of mindset of the

individual,” Olesen said.

EIT action

In order to meet such challenges of

entrepreneurial education and stronger

innovation, the EIT is expanding its activities

through the EIT Regional Innovation Scheme, a

structured outreach scheme to increase the

innovation capacity in regions in Europe not

directly benefitting from the EIT and its KICs.

Furthermore, the EIT will also establish two new

KICs in 2016 in the fields of food security and

added-value manufacturing.

INNOVEIT 2015 brought together several

traditionally separate EIT events, including the

‘EIT Stakeholder Forum’. Organised by the EU

body, the forum brought together more than

600 entrepreneurs, researchers, policy makers,

business leaders and students to explore the

wide range of topics surrounding creating a

more effective and dynamic environment for

innovation in Europe.

Following this year’s conference, the forum

concluded that Europe needs to establish

stronger cross-border ecosystems to support

innovation if it is to flourish and bring about

change. Furthermore, entrepreneurs and

innovators need support, coaching andmentoring,

though the KICs are helping in shaping the path.

Through the current five KICs, the organisation

provides leadership and funding for its ‘EIT

Label’ courses that cherish the spirit of

entrepreneurship and aim to change the

mindset when it comes to innovation in Europe.

Such programmes have entrepreneurship

skills embedded into the curricula and are

tailored towards the needs of the European

innovation system, job market and society.

E

ducation is a crucial part of the European Institute of Innovation

and Technology (EIT). The organisation’s mission is based on

realising the knowledge triangle of higher education, research and

business through Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KIC).

According to the EIT, an entrepreneurial skillset now needs to be built

into Europe’s education system.

The need for a new approach to education was one of the conclusions

of the INNOVEIT 2015 conference, which took place in Budapest,

Hungary, and was attended by Portal. The conference concluded that

Europe’s traditional model of education needs a fresh approach if it is to

be competitive and meet the demands of an innovative society.

Fresh outlook

Commenting, Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education,

Culture, Youth and Sport, and responsible for overseeing the EIT, said:

“Innovative education plays a crucial role in restoring economic growth.

Investment in education is really an investment in tomorrow.

“The EIT offers a unique education model that is focused on the

development of entrepreneurship and innovation skills, helping to boost

innovation in Europe and create new, high quality jobs. This is how the

EIT can contribute to achieving this European Commission’s top political

priority of restoring growth and getting people back into work.”

With Europe lagging behind the United States, Japan and South Korea

in innovation, investment in entrepreneurial education will help to ensure

that the continent helps to regain important competitive advantages. Yet

as Peter Olesen, chair of the EIT Governing Board, commented, changing

the outlook of the individual is also important.

I S S U E S E V E N

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

www.horizon2020projects.com

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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

A new approach to education

Investigating the importance of education to entrepreneurship and innovation,

Portal

carries the thoughts of

Tibor Navracsics,

the EIT’s

Peter Olesen

and

TomTom’s

Corinne Vigreux

and explores the EIT’s degree programmes

The EIT has a “unique

education model,”

says Tibor Navracsics