The European Investment Fund (EIF) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate more closely and boost European innovation for the green and digital transitions.
The MoU creates a framework for the EIF and the EIT to collaborate and share information on financing and innovation opportunities, in areas such as equity investments in European SMEs and start-ups, as well as key European sectors such as climate, energy and environmental technologies, strategic digital and deep technologies, education and skills. The institutions collaboration will further support the shift towards a climate neutral Europe, driving innovation, digital and skills transformation.
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth said: ‘An enhanced access to finance is a core element of any successful innovation policy. By bringing together the EIT and the EIF, we ensure that all innovators and SMEs in Europe that are able to boost the recovery and the green and digital transitions can get the support they need’.
Martin Kern, EIT Director added: ‘As Europe’s largest innovation ecosystem, the EIT is delighted to offer its community better access to the opportunities provided by the European Investment Fund. Through our collaboration, our entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs will be able to accelerate their innovations and bring much-needed green and digital solutions to citizens, solving global challenges with European-made solutions’.
Hubert Cottogni, Director of Mandate Management, EIF added, ‘Promoting institutional dialogue, knowledge sharing, and cross-institutional learning in the fields of finance and innovation for SMEs and infrastructure, and business services are essential for Europe to remain competitive. This new collaboration with the EIT will open up new ways to innovate and to continue developing the equity ecosystem across the EU’.
The EIF is already collaborating with EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities such as EIT Health. They are a partner under the Health Compartment of the Sustainable Development Umbrella Fund and its Venture Centre of Excellence programme. More recently, EIT Digital has become a financial intermediary under the EFSI Skills & Education Guarantee Pilot. The signature of today’s MoU will reinforce the successful collaboration between the two organisations.
The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its central mission is to support Europe’s micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth and employment.
The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) strengthens Europe’s ability to innovate by powering solutions to pressing global challenges and by nurturing entrepreneurial talent to create sustainable growth and skilled jobs in Europe. The EIT is an EU body and an integral part of Horizon Europe, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.
The Institute supports dynamic pan-European partnerships, EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities, among leading companies, research labs and universities. Together with their partners, the EIT Community offers a wide range of innovation and entrepreneurship activities across Europe: entrepreneurial education courses, business creation and acceleration services and innovation driven research projects.