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EIT HEI Initiative – Innovation Capacity Building for Higher Education – 2021

The EIT’s HEI Initiative (Innovation Capacity Building for Higher Education) is a joint EIT Community activity coordinated by EIT RawMaterials. It aims to support higher education institutions with expertise and coaching, access to the EIT innovation ecosystem, and funding, enabling them to develop innovation action plans complementing the needs of individual higher education institutions.

Detailed budget by topic below

Appeal framework

Institution European Commission
Regions Developing countries, European Economic Area, European Union

Countries associated to the Horizon Europe programme: Click here

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Priorities and funded actions


  • To encourage HEIs to look at their own practices and the opportunities for increasing their impact in ecosystems in Europe;
  • To ignite an entrepreneurial culture and mindset which inspires people to transform and catalyse their knowledge and expertise into tangible, societal value;
  • To extend the impact of the EIT beyond the EIT KICs and thereby contribute to the EIT’s core mission of boosting sustainable, inclusive economic growth and competitiveness by reinforcing the innovation capacity of Europe;
  • To leverage and make available the innovation and entrepreneurial knowledge base created in the EIT KICs, their partnerships and projects;
  • To enable EIT KIC partners and non-partners to collaborate, co-create and mutually learn.


  • Priority 1: Creation of an Innovation Vision Action Plan (IVAP) that fits regional priorities, especially Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3), and engages with other innovation actors in the territorial innovation system;
  • Priority 2: Leading systemic institutional change that brings carbon-neutral, digital, circular and inclusive solutions to societal challenges to the market;
  • Priority 3: Demonstrating improved innovation and entrepreneurial capacity and integration in innovation ecosystems;
  • Priority 4: Achieving a pre-defined number of specific EIT key priorities:
    • supporting at least 2 start-ups / scale-ups;
    • training at least 130 students, 12 academic staff and non-academic staff;
    • creating at least 1 partnership;
    • establishing at least 1 new or improved support structure and mechanism.

Among financed actions

  • Fostering institutional engagement and change (infrastructure development, set up of improve organisational entity…);
  • Strengthening partnerships (establish new collaborations, exchange good practices…);
  • Contributing to developing innovations and businesses (create and develop structures, utilise testbeds…);
  • Enhancing the quality of innovation and entrepreneurial education (organise internships in businesses…).

Additional information

  • This call for proposals is an open call for proposals.
  • There will be two implementation phases:
    • July – December 2022,
    • January 2023 – June 2024.
  • Total maximum duration of the project: 24 months.
  • It is expected to fund up to 40 HEI projects under this call.


  • Be a legal entity (public or private);
  • Be establised in one of the eligible countries;
  • The project consortium must consist of at least 4 organisations, including at least 3 HEI from 3 different countries.
  • Amount of the grant: 1.2 million euro
  • Maximum funding per HEI project:
    • Phase 1: 300,000 euro
    • Phase 2: 900,000 euro
  • Co-financing rate: up to 100% of the total eligible costs

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