The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) stimulates and facilitates cooperation in education, research and innovation between universities, research institutes and industry. The objective of the EIT is to stimulate the innovation in Europe by fostering collaboration between industry and researchers not only to take place in the laboratory, but also abroad. In this way, the knowledge base can be enhanced and scientific breakthroughs can be brought to the market. It is the first institute that focuses on the entire innovation chain from education to the application within industry.
The regulation, which the EIT has created, was signed on 11 March 2008. The EIT consists of a Board of Directors (BoD) who in consultation with the European Commission, Member States and the European Parliament, set the various themes of the Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs). The ‘real’ work is done within the KICs. They consist of network organisations of educational institutions, research institutes and companies. The first three KICs: Climate-KIC, EIT ICT Labs and KIC InnoEnergy, were officially launched in June 2010. The Netherlands is represented in all three KICs by organisations such as TNO, Shell and TU Eindhoven. DG Education and Culture (EAC) is responsible for the coordination of policies for the EIT.
In June 2011, the EIT's Strategic Innovation Agenda (SIA) was submitted to DG EAC, in which the strategic vision and the role of the EIT in the European innovation landscape after 2013 are outlined.