2016 Call for KICs on Food and Manufacturing

EU funding opportunities

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) has launched a call for the establishment of two new Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) for the year 2016.

The EIT is an European Union body established in March 2008 that aims to increase the capacity for innovation of the EU Member States and contribute to sustainable growth and competitiveness in Europe. The EIT is an integral part of the EU’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020.

The KICs are the main operational instrument of the EIT. They are structured in the form of long-term thematic partnerships composed by innovative stakeholders, representing the excellence of the sector at a European level. The main objective of the KIC is thus to identify disruptive solutions for the new societal challenges by encouraging the development of robust, collaborative relationships between partners from the ‘Knowledge Triangle’, namely higher education institutions, research organisations and business.

Five KICs have already been established since 2009, and are currently running up in the following areas: Climate-KIC; EIT Raw Materials; EIT Digital; EIT Health; KIC InnoEnergy.

The call for 2016 has been launched on the basis of the Strategic Innovation Agenda of the EIT and will lead to the selection of two additional KICs:

EIT Food, ensuring a climate-resilient and sustainable global food value chain;
EIT Manufacturing, strengthening and increasing the competitiveness of Europe’s manufacturing industry.

Another call is foreseen in 2018 for the establishment of the last KIC, covering the theme of Urban Mobility.

According to the EIT Regulation, the activities of a KIC must involve at least three independent partner organizations. The partners must be established in at least three different European Member States and must include at least one institution of higher education and one private company.

Relations between the EIT and the KICs are governed on a contractual basis, leaving a substantial autonomy to the KICs on how to define their own legal status, internal organization and working methods. The status can vary from one consortium to an independent legal entity and the activities are coordinated by a CEO (the first case in the European partnerships).

The EIT funding on average may not exceed 25% of a KIC’s overall funding, which means that the remaining minimum 75% must come from non‐EIT sources. The non‐EIT funding may include KIC partners’ own resources, public funding at national, regional and EU level, such as the Structural Funds and the Horizon 2020 Programme.

The actors involved are enterprises (including SMEs); research and technology organizations; higher education institutions; investment communities (private investors and venture capital); research funders, including foundations; local, regional and national governments.

The KICs are organized in connected Co-location Centers, innovation hubs with a specific geographical coverage, where partners from different backgrounds can work in integrated teams, facilitating mutual collaboration and knowledge exchange.

More information about the EIT 2016 Call for KICs Proposals is available on the dedicated page of the EIT website: http://eit.europa.eu/collaborate/2016-call-for-kics

The submission of proposals is open until 14 July 2016 by following the links to the relevant sections of the Participant Portal:

EIT Food: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/opportunities/h2020/topics/3095-eit-food.html

EIT Manufacturing: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/opportunities/h2020/topics/3094-eit-manufacturing.html

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