This week, the European Innovation Council (EIC) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) providing a framework for the two EU-backed institutions to work together in supporting Europe’s best entrepreneurs.
This agreement will strengthen the support that the EIC and EIT are already providing to thousands of innovative start-ups and SMEs to scale up in Europe and will ensure mutual access to advisory services and networks. In particular, the two initiatives will join forces to fast track support to highly innovative start-ups, as well as to coordinate efforts to support women innovators and innovators from less represented regions. The EIC and EIT also aim to share data and intelligence on the innovative start-ups and SMEs they support, including measurements of impacts achieved.
The MoU marks a crucial step in the process and means that the EIT’s knowledge and innovation communities (of which EIT Health is one), will soon be in position to partner with the EIC. Prior to this week’s signing, EIT Health and the EIC have been working on a plan to join forces, offering promising European start-ups a blueprint for cohesive engagement with opportunities offered by both organisations.
As the largest healthcare innovation network in Europe, EIT Health is focussed on building a pipeline of promising health start-ups through training, network-building, early-stage funding, and project collaborations, as well as providing the necessary ecosystem in which they can flourish. The EIC is set to be the largest early-stage equity fund in Europe, designed to crowd in investments from venture capital and other impact investors – while not focussed on any one sector, health is on the EIC agenda.
“We know that we have a multitude of talented people and bold ideas here in Europe, but in today’s landscape it is not enough to simply have the funds, you must have the know-how in order to bring a healthcare product to market. The services of the EIC and EIT Health are highly complementary to this, offering innovators the opportunity to access funding, training and networking at the right time – all of which are crucial ingredients that do not stand up alone. We look forward to working closely with the EIC to offer a cohesive journey for Europe’s talented healthcare entrepreneurs that can help to put innovative and impactful solutions into the hands of those in need,” said Jan-Philipp Beck, CEO of EIT Health.
The formal partnership can begin as soon as the submitted EIT Health proposal is approved by the EIC, which is expected in the coming weeks. The synergies to be offered will ensure a higher-powered European support framework allowing promising start-ups to begin, grow and scale, all while remaining in Europe.