UT is new Strategic Partner for European Institute of Innovation and Technology
December 9, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) announced the winners of the call for EIT Health and EIT Raw Materials, integrated European partnerships of higher education, business and research aiming to tackle societal challenges across Europe. One of strategic partner is also University of Tartu through pan-European consortia InnoLife.
"Ageing societies and our dependence on raw materials pose serious challenges to the EU. Science and innovation have a crucial part to play in tackling them. I am therefore very pleased to see the EIT getting these two strategic partnerships underway,” said Tibor Navracsics, EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport.
The winners of the EIT’s 2014 Call for Knowledge and Innovation Communities Proposals are the pan-European consortia InnoLife and RawMatTERS, bringing together more than 150 partners from more than 20 EU Member States. "The outstanding factor behind the decision was the potential of the winners to create innovations needed to address critical challenges for today’s societies,” said Martin Kern, EIT Interim Director.
InnoLife – winner of EIT Health (healthy living and active ageing) – is a consortium of more than 50 core partners and 90 associate partners from leading businesses, research centres and universities from across 14 EU countries., including University of Tartu Estonian Genome Center.
Andres Metspalu, Director of the University of Tartu Estonian Genome Center, said that InnoLafe is the first really big European project for the genome center in terms of the number of partners as well as quality. "Already working on a project that covers the needs of the society so widely is very educative and I believe that in the years to come, we will learn to solve important problems that Europeans face today. One of them, for example, is how to become old in a healthy way," Metspalu commented.
Dr. Ursula Redeker from Roche Diagnostics GmbH, the coordinating partner, said “We are thrilled to win the EIT’s call. Our partnership’s goal is to promote entrepreneurship and develop innovations in healthy living and active ageing, providing Europe with new opportunities and resources. We will achieve this by delivering products, services and concepts that will improve quality of life and contribute to the sustainability of healthcare across Europe. Our partners represent top excellence and our outreach activities will spread all over Europe. By 2018, we are aiming to create, among others, 70 start-ups per year and have 1 000 000 students participating in our educational online programmes per year.”
Vice Rector for Research of the University of Tartu Marco Kirm said that this partnership recognises the world-class achievements of the researchers of the University of Tartu and proves their importance in the development of new health technologies. “Participation in the work of InnoLife allows the researchers of the University of Tartu to implement their in-depth knowledge and skills together with the researchers and industry partners of other countries to tackle the challenges of health and ageing the human kind is facing,” added Kirm.
RawMatTERS – winner of EIT Raw Materials (sustainable exploration, extraction, processing, recycling an substitution) – brings together more than 100 partners from 20 EU Member States.
In order to facilitate a rapid and smooth start during their first year, the EIT will provide each of the winners with a start-up grant of up to 4 million EUR. The KICs are expected to become fully operational shortly after having signed a seven-year Framework Partnership Agreement with the EIT in 2015.
For further information: Andres Metspalu, Director of the University of Tartu Estonian Genome Center, phone: (+372) 506 3088, e-mail: andres.metspalu [ät] ut.ee.