EIT scales up support for innovators across Europe in 2020

In 2020, the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) will invest EUR 500 million in its Knowledge and Innovation Communities across Europe – the EIT Governing Board decided. This investment will drive European innovation in the areas of climate (EIT Climate-KIC), digitisation (EIT Digital), food (EIT Food), health (EIT Health), sustainable energy (EIT InnoEnergy), advanced and sustainable materials (EIT RawMaterials), manufacturing (EIT Manufacturing) and urban mobility (EIT Urban Mobility).

The EIT’s eight Knowledge and Innovation Communities competed for EUR 500 million and were evaluated against their strategies and business plans for 2020, as well as their performance to date. Based on this, the EIT Governing Board decided to allocate the following grants (in order of their selection in 2009, 2014, 2016, and 2018*): 

EIT Climate-KIC: EUR 78.4 million

EIT Digital: EUR 66.2 million 

EIT InnoEnergy: EUR 77.8 million

EIT Health: EUR 85.1 million

EIT Raw Materials: EUR 81.7 million

EIT Food: EUR 55.1 million

EIT Manufacturing: EUR 26.8 million

EIT Urban Mobility: EUR 28.8 million

In addition, the EIT Governing Board also decided to allocate EUR 30 million to the EIT Regional Innovation Scheme (EIT RIS) – the programme that helps modest and moderate regions (according to the European Innovation Scoreboard) to fully realise their innovation potential through the sharing of good practice and experience from across the EIT Community. The EIT RIS fund will be available to all EIT Innovation Communities that include EIT RIS eligible activities in their 2020 Business Plans.  The EIT Governing Board also decided to allocate EUR 12.5 million for joint activities between Knowledge and Innovation Communities, as for example in the areas of artificial intelligence and Skills 4 Future.

In addition, the EIT Governing Board put in place a Task Force on enhancing innovation and entrepreneurship in higher education institutions, in preparation for the EIT’s role in Horizon Europe. The Task Force will be chaired by Patrick Prendergast, Member of the EIT Governing Board, and will include representatives of the European Commission (DG EAC).

Dirk Jan van den Berg, Chairman of the EIT Governing Board, said: ‘I am very pleased to see the progress in the past year, which is strongly based on the focused stewardship of the EIT’s Governing Board. It is crucial that the opportunities the EIT community offers innovators are scaled-up across the whole of Europe. Why? This investment is not just to create another product, or power another start-up; it’s to bring about the urgent need for more innovative European solutions at a much larger scale to tackle pressing societal challenges.’    

Martin Kern, EIT Director, added: ‘The EIT is now Europe’s proven innovation engine and 2020 will see strong impact from our eight Knowledge and Innovation Communities, based on their submitted plans. Our results clearly show that the EIT’s investment delivers and turns ground-breaking ideas into products and services for a greener, healthier, more sustainable Europe. We particularly look forward to scaling up our support for innovators and entrepreneurs in countries where EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities have a limited presence. I would like to thank the EIT Governing Board Members for their strong strategic steering of the EIT community.

Investing in what works

The 2020 funding will step up activities for entrepreneurs, innovators, and students, including business creation and acceleration services, entrepreneurial educational programmes and innovation-driven research projects. These activities have been shown to work, delivering tangible impact for Europe. In 2020, the EIT Community plans to power 1000 start-ups and scale-ups and launch more than 360 new products and services to contribute to Europe’s efforts of tackling global challenges. More than 900 students are expected to graduate from EIT labelled master and doctoral programmes, strengthening the pool of talented and entrepreneurially-minded change agents eager to transform their best ideas into solutions for Europe. It is foreseen that in 2020 alone, ventures supported by the EIT-Community will raise over EUR 400 million in external capital.

Since the EIT was set up in 2008, it has created Europe’s largest innovation community, with more than 1 000 partners and 50 innovation hubs. This has delivered support to more than 2 000 start-ups and scale-ups, created more than 6 100 jobs and more than 900 new products and services. More than      2200 students have graduated from EIT-labelled master and doctoral programmes. To date, EIT-supported ventures have raised more than EUR 1.5 billion in external capital.

EIT BACKGROUND: Europe’s future is connected to its power to innovate!

What is the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)? The EIT was created in 2008 to strengthen Europe’s ability to innovate and is an integral part of Horizon2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The EIT is a unique EU initiative, the only one to fully integrate business, education and research. The Institute supports the development of dynamic pan-European partnerships among leading universities, research labs and companies. (EIT in a nutshell Infographic)

What has the EIT Community achieved? EIT Community Success Stories

What is the EIT Governing Board? The Governing Board is the EIT’s principal governing body, entrusted with the strategic leadership and overall direction of the operational activities implemented by the EIT Headquarters in Budapest. The Governing Board brings together 12 leading Members from across Europe, balancing prominent expertise in business, education, innovation and research fields.

What challenges do the EIT’s Knowledge and Innovation Communities focus on? EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities work in the area of:

Climate: accelerating the transition to a zero-carbon economy, EIT Climate-KIC,

Digitisation: driving Europe’s digital transformation, EIT Digital,

Energy: achieving a sustainable energy future for Europe, EIT InnoEnergy,

Health: giving EU citizens greater opportunities to enjoy a healthy life, EIT Health,

RawMaterials: developing advanced & sustainable materials for Europe, EIT RawMaterials,

Food: leading the global revolution in food innovation and production, EIT Food,

Urban mobility: solving mobility challenges of our cities, EIT Urban Mobility, and

Manufacturing: strengthen the competitiveness of the EU’s manufacturing industry, EIT Manufacturing.

They offer a wide range of innovation and entrepreneurship activities. This includes education courses that combine technical skills with entrepreneurial ones, business creation and acceleration services, and innovation-driven research projects.

*The Knowledge and Innovation Communities have a lifespan of 7-15 years. During this time EIT funding is in principle gradually increasing until year seven and starts to decrease thereafter.


More information on EIT Community activities. 

The EIT – Making Innovation Happen! For more information visit eit.europa.eu & follow @EITeu on Twitter

Three reasons why Corbyn’s Labour manifesto will bring economic chaos

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party’s radical Marxist manifesto will bring far-reaching economic chaos for Brexit-battered Britain, affirms the boss of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations.

The founder and CEO of deVere Group, Nigel Green, is speaking out as the Labour leader unveils his party’s manifesto on Thursday ahead of next month’s general election.

Mr Green says: “Labour’s Marxist manifesto is the most radical and dangerous in decades.

“It would bring far-reaching economic chaos for a Brexit-battered Britain already on the brink.

“Corbyn and McDonnell’s agenda would create a nightmarish scenario that would hit those very people the most that it is proclaiming to try and support and protect.”

He continues: “There are three fundamental reasons why the Corbyn-led Labour manifesto would damage the UK economy.

“First, it would drive down already stagnate business investment in the UK. 

“The mammoth nationalisation programme will leave companies thinking ‘who’s next?’ Plus, the snatching of 10 per cent of the shares in every big company and a significant increase in trade union power, including a return to collective bargaining, will leave UK and international investors justifiably concerned that their investments will not be safe under Labour.

“This will seriously erode any attempts to generate long-term, sustainable economic growth.”

Mr Green goes on to say: “Second, it would trigger an exodus of some of the most successful and wealthiest individuals.

“This would likely be due to concerns regarding Labour’s stance on inheritance tax, income tax, stamp duty and capital gains tax, potentially even capital controls, and the slashing of pensions tax relief.

“Typically, these people have the resources to move to safe lower tax jurisdictions if the tax burden in Britain becomes too great. 

“Should these largely job and wealth-creating, tax-paying individuals quit Britain, the government’s finances will suffer significantly because they contribute a disproportionately large amount to the state’s coffers. Indeed, they prop-up the system.

“And third, a renegotiation of the Brexit deal, which would be put to a second referendum, would create many more months of uncertainty for businesses.”

The deVere CEO concludes: “Labour’s economic agenda is a risky gamble. Its potential for serious adverse consequences is massive. 

“And whilst the radical plans are already far-reaching, this might be just the beginning, with more misguided policies to come.”

Could this be the SME election? Small businesses employ 16million – over a third of the electorate

SME experts – IW Capital and the UKBAA – discuss the importance of SME success to the next Government

Today will see the three main party leaders set out their plans to secure the support of the UK’s business leaders at the CBI conference. Boris Johnson is set to make the case for getting Brexit done, while Jo Swinson is to claim that the Lib Dems are the “natural party of business”. Labour is to focus on apprenticeships and training for the business community.

When setting out their stall in business policy, one area that is set to have a huge impact is the support promised for small and medium enterprises across the UK. The SME community employs 16.6million of the roughly 45million eligible voters in the UK and contributes £2.2trillion (52%) to the economy. If the next Government can make it clear that they are the party to help this sector of business to grow and thrive they could see significant support from one of the biggest sections of voters to exist in the UK.

Luke Davis – CEO of SME investment house IW Capital says:

“The importance of the SME sector is hard to overstate, and in the context of the upcoming election will be hugely important to the future economy. With over a third of the electorate employed by small businesses this could really be a swing vote of society – if this section of the workforce feels more confident in their job security and business growth with one party, it will almost undoubtedly affect voting decisions.

“For SMEs to feel confident in their capacity to grow, employ more people and expand they need to trust that the incoming Government is going to look after them and deliver security. The range of innovative and agile firms in the space currently is reflective of the entrepreneurial spirit of the UK which if fostered correctly could kick-start the wider economy into a period of growth.”

Jenny Tooth, CEO of the UK Business Angels Association, has commented:

“Not only is it the employees of SMEs that are keeping a keen eye on this election, but also the investors involved within the SME arena. With Britain’s impending exit from the European Union, the loss of the Jeremie fund and Horizon 2020 are bound to leave regional SMEs proactively seeking private investment more fervently. However, the mindset of investors could change post-Brexit. Investors will be looking for greater longevity when assessing the potential of a business, and will now look to how scalable businesses are in terms of their international reach. The forthcoming election and the pledges that the parties sell to businesses needs to reassure investors that the environment they delve into is a sustainable one.”

Brexit Backdoor Bonanza

The grim truth about Brexit deal III worked out between the current UK government and the EU this Autumn is that in attempting to remove the Irish backstop there will be established a huge facility for smuggling goods into, and through, the European Union – partially or totally tariff free.

FedEE

The new Protocol has found a form of words that both allows Northern Ireland to remain in the UK, but also have an open border with the Irish Republic. To ostensibly avoid smuggling, Article 5 sets out a process whereby types of goods can be identified as being at “risk of subsequently being moved into the [European] Union”. But there will also be a general exclusion clause if goods are not processed in Northern Ireland – although they can be relabelled.

The cross references and double negatives in the Protocol are clearly designed to confuse the reader, but the essence of this replacement for the former “backstop” is that with a long open border there will, in practice, be virtually no barrier to “badge engineering” and the smuggling of goods into the EU (ie: the South) having imported goods to the North via any new trade agreement, or free trade concession the UK decides to introduce.

Of course, there will also be the option of exporting via Northern Ireland (and a hop across the border) goods that have been made in Great Britain, to be reshipped from Dublin to non-EU countries with which the EU has tariff-free trade and the UK does not. 

Such a backdoor trade will, no doubt, help revive the established mafia in the province – the IRA. This could, in turn, undermine legitimate trade within the EU and generate a thriving grey economy to the cost of many multinationals operating legitimately there.

According to Robin Chater, Secretary-General of the Federation of International Employers (FedEE), “The fact that no watertight agreement can be reached on a Brexit deal is because a deep incompetence permeates the UK political system. It is equally a sad fact that the British people are blinded to the tragic mistake that is Brexit by their preoccupation with a hatred for eastern European nationals – who have contributed so much to the UK economy over the last 15 years. Such incompetence and xenophobia makes me deeply ashamed to be British.

For further information please contact Eustace Fernsby at the FedEE Press Office on [email protected] and 0044 203 608 4412.

What is FedEE?

The Federation of International Employers (FedEE) is a leading corporate membership organisation for multinational companies. It was founded in 1998, with financial assistance from the European Commission. Today it is an independent body with corporate members all around the globe. 

Trade War: China wants Trump re-elected in 2020 for its economic agenda – here’s why

November 8 2019

China wants Trump re-elected in 2020 to achieve medium-term and long-term economic objectives, affirms the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organizations.

The comments from Nigel Green, chief executive of deVere Group, come after China fuelled hopes that a deal can be reached to end its trade war with the U.S. after agreeing with Washington to roll back on some tariffs.

The deal to reduce trade tensions could encourage the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to revise up global growth forecasts next year.

Mr Green notes: “There has been an argument that in regard to the trade war, China was holding out, playing the long game and waiting for President Trump to leave office, before dealing with another administration.

“Whilst this argument might have held water before, I now believe this is not the case – and it is what is fueling recent developments in the trade war negotiations.”

He continues: “It is likely that China is currently fueling hopes to reach a phased agreement in the trade dispute with the U.S. and cancel tariffs as soon as possible because it will help President Trump’s re-election.

“His re-election would suit them for two major reasons.

“First, because they will assume that reaching a deal with Trump to end the damaging trade war will probably be easier than with some others. These include Elizabeth Warren, the potential Democratic rival, who could, say many supporters, win next year’s presidential election.  

“Ms Warren can be expected to be even tougher with China than Trump, and not only on trade, but on other difficult issues, including climate change and human and labor rights.

“And second, despite the trade war, Trump’s policies and rhetoric have proven to be strategically helpful to China in achieving its longer-term goals.  

“In many respects, President Trump has undermined Washington’s global credibility, international governance bodies and key alliances, and has been indifferent if not antagonistic towards major trading agreements.

“This all compromises America’s standing as the world’s primary superpower and it provides China with openings and opportunities it has previously never had in terms of global influence and setting international trade conventions.” 

The deVere CEO concludes: “The positive signs coming from Beijing and Washington on the trade talks between the world’s two largest economies have been welcomed by stock markets – some reaching all-time highs this week.

“Investors’ exuberance will grow further still should the deal be cemented, and also should Trump be re-elected.

“However, U.S. investors should perhaps also question whether Mr Trump’s administration has, in fact, handed China a great strategic opportunity that could damage America’s preeminent superpower status in the longer-term and, therefore, its economic dominance.”

SME investment is the elephant in the general election war-rooms

Political uncertainty has caused a reduction of business investment in the UK by 11%

Jenny Tooth OBE, CEO of the UK Business Angels Association, calls for an end to “deafening silence” of politicians regarding SME investment

Now that the majority of the party leaders have launched their general election campaigns, there will now be five weeks of battling to decide which prospective vision for Britain captures the imagination of British voters best. However, the elephant in the room still remains the sustainability of the British economy post-Brexit, and how to reinvigorate investment that has dried up throughout the three and half years of political limbo and chaos.

Uncertainty in the British economy due to an inability to find a Brexit resolution has seen business investment into the UK cut by 11 percent, or the equivalent of £20bn. Just last month, the Office for National Statistics announced that labour productivity in the second quarter of 2019 fell by half a percent, the worst performance since 2014. Now, with an election looming and no guarantee that a majority will be secured, British businesses have been thrown further into the lurch regarding investment opportunities for growth.

Jenny Tooth OBE, CEO of the UK Business Angels Association, has called on leading ministers at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to speak up for SMEs to provide much needed confidence and stability.

“The silence from the ministers at the Department for (BEIS) has been deafening. Just a month ago we had a proposed Withdrawal Agreement that at the very least, gave businesses an idea of what the future looked liked, and how they needed to plan ahead. Now, we are in an election cycle, and we are back to square one.

There are 5.9 million SMEs in the UK. In other words, 99.9% of the businesses in the UK are SMEs. How can an economy be galvanised and strengthen if its very lifeblood is left in the precarious position of not knowing what is on the horizon. 60% of the British workforce works within an SME, with SMEs accounting for 52% of all turnover in the British economy. I find it quite remarkable that nothing is being said in defence of SMEs and their importance to the British economy.

I call on Andrea Leadsom at the Department for BEIS to speak up for small businesses on the election trail, and shadow secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey along with the other parties spokespeople to provide a clear vision as to how they will guarantee the longevity of SMEs in the UK to ensure that their dynamic input to the British economy will be maintained.”