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The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) launches its first three Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs)

The Governing Board of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) met on 16 December in Budapest to designate the first three Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs). Following hearings with the six shortlisted candidates (two from each priority area), the Governing Board designated the first three KICs: Climate change mitigation and adaptation: Climate-KIC Sustainable energy: KIC InnoEnergy Future information and communication society: EIT ICT Labs Statement from Dr. Martin Schuurmans - Chairman of the EIT Governing Board: "Today is a great day for innovation in Europe. With the selection of the first three Knowledge and Innovation Communities, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology marks the starting point of a new approach to innovation and knowledge sharing. The KICs will be our test-beds for an entirely new type of collaborations across the innovation web, bringing together our most excellent resources from higher education, research, business and entrepreneurship.

Through the KICs we want to generate real impact in terms of new business creation, entrepreneurship and societal benefit. Over the past months, universities, research centres, technology transfer organisations, big industry and smaller businesses have come together ?? in a probably unprecedented manner ?? to present their proposals for the first KICs. In the Governing Board we were extremely impressed with the response to the call for KICs, as the proposals showed a high level of commitment from stakeholders across Europe and from all over the innovation web. The firm interest in the opportunities offered by the EIT and its KICs across the three priority areas of the call ?? climate change mitigation and adaptation, sustainable energy and future information and communication society ?? also proofs to us that there is a real need and a real momentum for this initiative. When selecting the first KICs, our overriding criteria for our decision were leadership and excellence. The KICs' ultimate real-life success and impact will clearly depend on a number of key elements: co-locating people from across the innovation chain to work closely together, clear leadership and a 'can do' approach, as well as entrepreneurship and a real commitment from the private sector. Today's decision is only the starting point of our common effort to turn the KICs into a true success for Europe and its citizens.

It is now our foremost task in the EIT to get the KICs energised by mid next year and to immediately start a substantial learning process based on the wealth of knowledge and good ideas that has been put into all the proposals. The EIT will help the KICs launch their activities immediately. We must get down to action now. Let us shape Europe??s innovation future together."