Edition 86 - June 2008

And the EIT seat goes to … Hungary

In a meeting held in Slovenia on June 18, the 27 European research ministers agreed that the seat of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology is to be located in Budapest, Hungary. The final decision was delayed after Poland’s veto in May, but of all the candidates only Hungary fit the previously agreed conditions. The latter foresee that the institution should be placed in new member state which does not already host an official EU site or an agency. Poland already hosts Frontex, the EU border security agency, and the three remaining candidates - Sant Cugat del Valles near Barcelona, Vienna-Bratislava and Jena (Germany) - are not located in new member states. 

The establishment of the Institute is expected to begin immediately. The Commission presented the list of members it plans to nominate for the EIT Governing Board last week and the official nomination is scheduled to take place in early July. Once it is established, the Governing Board is expected to designate the two or three Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs), the partnerships of universities, companies and research institutes, by the end of 2009. 

The birth process of the EIT has indeed not been painless. As we reported in the March edition of the ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, the Parliament approved the proposal only after the second hearing. Especially the Green MEPs see the planning of the EIT poorly defined and consider the budget reserved for the set-up of the KICs to be unrealistic.

Slovenian Presidency’s website
Press release

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