EIT Strategic Innovation Agenda: political agreement in the Council

Source: Council of the European Union (Council) i, published on Friday, February 28 2020.

The Council today reached agreement (partial general approach) on the future Strategic Innovation Agenda (SIA) of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). Together with the EIT regulation, which provides the legal basis for the EIT, the SIA complements the legislative framework for the functioning of the EIT for the years 2021 to 2027. It sets out the priority fields and strategy of the EIT for the period 2021-2027 by defining the EIT's objectives, key actions, mode of operation, expected results and resources needed. The SIA also ensures the coherence of the EIT with Horizon Europe, the future EU framework programme for research and innovation for the period 2021-2027 and is expected to foster synergies with other EU programmes.

Today's agreement paves the way for more open and more efficient Knowledge and Innovation Communities across the EU. It introduces a streamlined monitoring system that will ensure greater transparency and accountability. We now stand ready to negotiate a swift deal with the European Parliament.

Blaženka Divjak, Croatian Minister for Science and Education.

Compared to the Commission proposal, the Council's text :

  • requires Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) to become more open and transparent;
  • clarifies the scope of the new pilot that will support the development of entrepreneurial and innovation capacity in higher education institutions;
  • defines eligibility criteria and a budget to be allocated for the Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS);
  • provides for a simplified funding model for the KICs, based on the principle of performance-based funding;
  • introduces a continuous monitoring and evaluation system of the KICs, including closer monitoring of their openness;
  • clarifies the EIT's relations with KICs after the termination of the framework partnership agreement;
  • provides for a streamlined procedure for the launch of a possible second new KIC in 2026, and contains a list of possible priority areas.

The EIT's budget is provided for in the future EU framework programme supporting research and innovation (Horizon Europe) and is linked to next EU's financial framework programme (MFF). Pending the conclusion of the ongoing negotiations on the next MFF covering the period 2021-2027, today's agreement does not cover the budgetary elements of the SIA decision.

Next steps

On the basis of the agreed text, the Council will explore the possibility of an early agreement with the European Parliament for the swift adoption of the decision at first reading. The Council adopted a partial general approach on the EIT regulation on 29 November 2019.

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