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Press Release - Addressing social challenges through the European Institute of Innovation and Technology
08.11.2012, 15:32 (CET)
The important role that European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) could play in the economic recovery of Europe and its transition to a knowledge-based economy is at the heart of the Cyprus Presidency Conference, which is held in Larnaca on 8-9 November 2012. The conference also focuses on the important contribution that the Knowledge and Innovation Communities of the EIT could have in addressing social challenges.

The Commissioner of Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth of the EU, Mrs Androulla Vassiliou, the Minister of Education and Culture of Cyprus Mr. George Demosthenous, and the Chairman of the EIT Governing Board, Mr. Alexander von Gabain, are participating in the conference. The conference also hosts representatives from relevant stakeholders, such as the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Knowledge and Innovation Communities of the EIT, and policy makers from EU Member States.

Knowledge and Innovation Communities

Lessons learned from the operation of the first three Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) of the EIT, together with issues related to the setting-up of the six new KICs to be created by 2020, are among the main points of discussion in this two-day Conference. Additionally, the Conference is also focusing on the contribution of the Knowledge and Innovation Communities to tackling the societal challenges through the programme "Horizon 2020", the new EU financial framework for research and innovation for the period 2014-2020.

In her speech, Commissioner Vassiliou stressed that "advancement in science, technology and innovation is interlinked with prosperity, and investment in these areas is a prerequisite for ensuring prosperity. Through its three Knowledge and Innovation Communities, the EIT has managed to establish 27 start-ups and to grand more than 1,000 master’s and doctoral degrees in just two years of their operation”. An important goal for the EIT is to encourage the participation of organizations from the new EU Member States, including Cyprus, to the six new Knowledge and Innovation Communities that are expected to be created by 2020.

Minister Demosthenous stated that the EIT is one of the priorities of the Cyprus Presidency in the field of research and innovation. So far, the Cyprus Presidency has succeeded to reach an agreement at Council level on the amended Regulation of the EIT, while it strives to achieve a partial general approach in December’s Competitiveness Council on the Strategic Innovation Agenda of EIT.

In his presentation, Mr. von Gabain analyzed the tri-dimensional role of the EIT: to transform research ideas into products, to transfer the results of research laboratories in the market and to encourage young generation towards entrepreneurship.

Planning Officer, Communications Officer
Charalambos Soteriou

Planning Bureau
Research and Innovation
Email: csoteriou@planning.gov.cy
Telefon: +357 22602875

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