EIT Manufacturing RIS to launch activities worth €5m to boost European manufacturing industry competitiveness

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EIT Manufacturing’s Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS) aims to support innovative organisations with financial support and networking opportunities to increase the resilience and competitiveness of the industry.

The programme covers all three pillars of the EIT Knowledge Triangle, innovation, education and business creation, not only to enhance innovation capacity, but also to ensure skilled future workforce and knowledge transfer in modest and moderate innovation countries.

EIT Manufacturing’s RIS 2021 programme is designed to help individuals, businesses, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), start-ups, scale-ups, corporates, RTOs, and Universities to contribute to Europe’s innovation ecosystem with new solutions and ideas for manufacturing originating from eligible EU Member States and Horizon Europe Associated Countries, which are modest and moderate innovators according to the European Innovation Scoreboard. EIT Manufacturing is an innovation community supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.

“The EIT’s Regional Innovation Scheme is a priority EIT instrument, designed to provide targeted support to a wide array of countries and regions in Europe, by boosting their innovation capacity, talent pool, and integration within EIT activities. We are excited to have additional, high-potential players and regional actors from the manufacturing industry, join Europe’s largest innovation ecosystem, and contribute to delivering more innovation across Europe”, said Luke Incorvaja, Strategy Officer at the European Institute of Innovation and Technology.

“The geographic scope of the EIT Regional Innovation Scheme is important for EIT Manufacturing and for the European manufacturing industry as a whole. A lot of well-known European manufacturers, often global market leaders, depend on suppliers, subcontractors and solution providers that are based in these countries”, said Dr. Konstantinos Georgoulias, Director of Regional Innovation Scheme and EU Affairs at EIT Manufacturing.

The manufacturing industry is a global base for prosperity and key to Europe’s economic, social and environmental sustainability. More than 2 million manufacturing companies provide over 32 million jobs in Europe. Increasing the resilience of Europe’s industry is important to maintain a healthy European economy and to boost its competitiveness globally.

In 2021, with an approximate budget of EUR 5 million, a long set of EIT Manufacturing RIS activities will be taking place in 18 eligible countries. These activities cover all three pillars of the EIT Knowledge Triangle: Education activities engaging pupils to ensure a skilled future workforce and Teaching & Learning factories to transfer knowledge and close the gap between industry and academia; Innovation activities to support innovative solutions originating from eligible countries, facilitating growth and job creation; Business Creation activities to support local start-ups and SMEs.

Open calls in 2021

In 2021, there are, indicatively, four initiatives out of EIT Manufacturing’s RIS portfolio, where potential external applicants can apply right now or in the near future: EIT Jumpstarter, Evolution of research results in manufacturing, Leaders, and BoostUp! RIS competition. More information on these EIT Manufacturing RIS opportunities, and all the future ones, can be found on the EIT Manufacturing website.

The EIT Jumpstarter is targeting those individuals/teams from EIT RIS countries who have innovative ideas but need help to turn them into business. The programme provides guidance offered from best-in-class experts and know-how to validate novel ideas and help in creating a business model around them. Individuals with innovative ideas may apply until the 30th of April. The training will start in June and last until November. Through this time period, there will be several training and mentoring sessions for the selected teams.

For SMEs, Universities, and RTOs who would like to launch their innovative projects on the market, EIT Manufacturing set up the Evolution of research results in manufacturing. The programme accelerates the market launch of innovative projects via networking and financial support in establishing a market-ready product or service. Within the programme’s framework, selected teams will have to finish their prototype and test them in a real market environment.

Teams or companies from EIT RIS eligible countries are also invited to submit their innovative proposals and participate in the BoostUp! RIS 2021. The event showcases cutting-edge manufacturing innovation and technologies in Europe. The competition is part of the Manufacturing Days powered by EIT Manufacturing at the ViennaUP’21, one of the largest start-up festivals in Europe. It will be taking place on 11th and 12th of May. As part of the event, finalists in the BoostUp! RIS 2021 pitching competition will present their ideas and solutions in competition for financial prizes and dedicated packages of support services provided by the EIT Manufacturing Business Creation team. More information on the BoostUp! RIS 2021 can be found here.

Strong track record in 2020

In 2020, EIT Manufacturing achieved great success through its RIS activities across RIS countries. For example, in terms of education activities, seven EIT Manufacturing Partners from five RIS countries involved more than 1,500 high school students in webinars on robotics and digitalization where they learn how the manufacturing industry can be an attractive future career for them. More than 1,000 individuals were involved in EIT RIS activities throughout Europe, and 50 awareness-raising events were organized in numerous RIS countries by the 13 EIT Manufacturing RIS Hubs.

In projects bringing together academia and industry, eight Teaching Factory Projects and six Learning Factory Projects were executed with the involvement of more than 20 organizations from EIT RIS countries where students, researchers, and engineers from manufacturing companies worked together to mutually develop skills and co-create solutions to industrial manufacturing challenges.

In the scope of another EIT RIS activity in 2020, EIT Manufacturing partners ran calls for companies in EIT RIS countries who needed support in their digital transformation. Altogether, thanks to this RIS project, 22 companies from nine EIT RIS countries now have a better understanding of what their maturity level is for digitalization and had a chance to select the most important next step for their digitalization journey through ad hoc consulting from experts.

Another highlight was in spring 2020, when, during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the research team at the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics, and Cybernetics at the Czech Technical University in Prague (CIIRC CTU) developed and certified the 3D-printed RP95 protective half-mask providing the highest degree of protection. In collaboration with the start-up company TRIX Connections, and a financial contribution within the EIT Manufacturing RIS activity DigTrafoRIS, the mask has been enhanced with a face-scanning smartphone app allowing for a customized selection of mask seals to ensure a perfect fit.

“The EIT Manufacturing RIS is a valuable instrument supporting the local manufacturing ecosystem to enhance its innovation capabilities and stimulate technology transfer,” Mr. Petr Samanek, the representative of EIT Manufacturing Hub in the Czech Republic, shares his experience.

Further information is available at www.eitmanufacturing.eu  

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