In February 2005, the President of the European Commission, J. M. Barroso, declared that a European Institute of Technology (EIT) must be created to develop innovation by connecting research, education and business. After a wide-ranking consultation (at the end of 2005), the European Council of 23-24th March 2006 recognises that “a European Institute of Technology will be an important step to fill the existing gap between higher education, research and innovation”. The Commission was invited to work about this structure. The EIT must respond to: the lack of critical mass, not enough top-class excellence, low business involvement, limited entrepreneurial initiative from education and research structures, brain-drain, lack of funding .
After consultations of the Member States (research and academic communities) the Commission has proposed in November 2006 a regulation of the European parliament and the Council, establishing the EIT. It will start in 2008 and its objective is to contribute to industrial competitiveness by reinforcing the innovation capacity of the Member States and the Community. A Governing Board (balance of business experience and academic/research experience) will approve the EIT strategy and define the fields in which the Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) will be established.
In this work, a brief explanation of the EIT will be presented, describing the structure and finalities in terms of social and economic developments. Then a discussion will be proposed about the relation between the EIT and the higher education institutions, taking into account the professional and applied research and the rapid application of results of research for innovation and development.
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