The European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) will provide additional opportunities for innovative projects in Central and Eastern Europe. The initiative’s primary goal is to help innovators take advantage of the services the two Horizon Europe-funded institutions have to offer while supporting the process of turning an innovative idea into a business. EIT considers the project as an opportunity to shift attention to European regions with a lower level of innovative development, providing training, business acceleration, and financing services to aspiring entrepreneurs.
At the moment, EIT has networks in 18 countries in less innovative regions, and further tasks are related to integrating researchers with COST services. COST funds more than 45,000 researchers and hopes to become the leading network platform for future projects within the European Research Area, including establishing work within Horizon Europe. The first programme that COST researchers will have access to will be Jumpstarter. It is also worth noting that the EIT projects aimed at more active involvement of researchers in the green direction, which is one of the priorities for the European Commission.
Martin Kern, director of the EIT: “We feel there are many opportunities to strengthen this cooperation rather than each programme working individually.”
Martin also noted another direction for the future work of the project assistance to Ukrainian innovators. “Now, there is a strong commitment to support and rebuild innovation ecosystems in Ukraine,” he said.
It is worth noting that the joint work of COST and EIT follows the idea of the European Commission to strengthen synergy within the Horizon Europe research programme. Therefore, we should expect other EIT cooperation agreements.
Martin Kern, director of the EIT: “The idea is simply to have complementarity between the programmes that feed into the same objective to increase Europe’s innovation capacity. If you have instruments such that we have with the EIC fast track, those innovators don’t have to start from scratch.”