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consolidated the core co-location centres, and

built the action line activities. We have also

grown our partnership from around 50 partners

when we started to around 130 partners today.

We have extended our geographic footprint in

Europe, expanding from five to seven core

nodes; established new operations in Madrid,

Spain – because we felt we were lacking in this

region – creating a link to South America,

where there are a lot of emerging economies;

and built a hub in Silicon Valley.

When it comes to education, we have built our

schools and our blended education strategy.

The master school is steadily growing and

developing, with an intake of around 350

students at present; it is a very strong

programme. The doctoral school saw some

setbacks when we were uncertain about our

strategy, but we have now rebalanced the

strategy and it is on track again. We have two

key foci: developing the professional school for

Scale-up: the name of the game

The digital comeback of Europe is the goal of EIT Digital CEO

Professor

Willem Jonker,

who detailed the creation of a new Silicon Valley hub and the

importance of value creation

E

IT Digital (formerly known as EIT ICT Labs) is a pan-

European education and research-based innovation

organisation which aims to drive European leadership in

digital innovation for economic growth and quality of life. The

Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) began work in 2010,

and through linking education, research and business, it empowers

top talents for the future and brings digital innovations to life.

EIT Digital’s ecosystem is characterised by an open and collaborative

way of working with partners representing global companies, leading

research centres, and top-ranked universities in the field of ICT. EIT Digital

is consistently mobilising talents, ideas, technologies, and investments,

as well as business across Europe and beyond.

In May, Portal attended the INNOVEIT 2015 conference in Budapest,

where EIT Digital’s chief executive, Professor Willem Jonker, set out the

KIC’s responsibility for creating jobs, its new relationship with Silicon

Valley, and encouraging a European entrepreneurial spirit.

What have been the most significant developments

over the last five years?

The first achievement was building the KIC infrastructure, where we

consolidated our strategy, built the basic instruments and back office,

Professor Willem

Jonker

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

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D I G I TA L E C O N O M Y