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EIT InnovEIT conference brings innovators together

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is holding its InnovEIT forum today, where innovators join entrepreneurs, investors and political leaders to tackle social challenges and create jobs in Europe, organizers tell the Budapest Business Journal.

Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport

Plans to launch Europe’s new Knowledge and Innovation Community for the Creative and Cultural Industries (CCI) are being presented today at the forum. This is part of the European Commission’s plans for the EIT’s 2021-2027 strategy, which includes a 25% budget increase to EUR 3 billion.

The EIT says that by giving new opportunities to the 12.5 million Europeans employed in the EU’s creative and cultural sectors (7.5% of all employment in the EU economy), the EIT’s new Knowledge and Innovation Community will be of strategic importance in powering innovation in the CCI sectors.

Nearly 400 participants from the innovation, business, research and education sectors, as well as policy-makers, are gathering in Budapest for the event, discussing the EIT’s role in driving innovation across Europe and celebrating the EIT Awards.

The conference takes place with the participation of Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport; László Palkovics, Hungarian Minister for Innovation and Technology; and Sanja Damjanović, Montenegrin Minister of Science. It also gathers together leading entrepreneurs, cutting-edge innovators, and policy-makers.

“Education and creativity are vital in building a resilient, competitive and cohesive Europe for the future,” Navracsics says. “I am proud of how the EIT helps us promote both supporting talented innovators and nurturing entrepreneurial mindsets. I am convinced that this focus on people, their aspirations and ideas, can also help us make a success of the new Knowledge and Innovation Community in the cultural and creative sectors that we have proposed.”

“The EIT will transform the best ideas into new products, services and jobs in the Creative and Cultural Industries,” adds Dirk Jan van den Berg, chair of the EIT governing board. “With the EIT Community’s unique network and track record in business creation and acceleration, our ventures have raised EUR 1.5 bln in external investment. Recently our first ‘unicorn’ venture emerged: Northvolt, which aims to produce the world’s greenest batteries. This highlights the EIT’s huge potential to power European Creative and Cultural Industries.”

“Europe has rightly placed Creative and Cultural Industries as a driving force of innovation and there are now excellent opportunities for creative innovators to work with the EIT to tackle grand societal challenges, contribute to upskilling, and create new jobs,” says keynote speaker Michela Magas, founder and creative director of Music Tech Fest and chair of the Industry Commons Foundation. “EIT partnerships are an important vehicle for combining competences from the CCI with novel data-driven technologies coming out of industry sectors for a win-win situation. I’m thrilled about the opportunities a new EIT Knowledge and Innovation Community will bring to the CCI and cement its importance at the center of all innovation.”

Total turnover of the performing arts sector in Europe (including live music) is worth more than EUR 32 bln, the EIT notes. The performing arts sector is the largest employer within the creative and cultural sectors in Europe, employing 1.25 million people. More than three quarters of employees are creators and/or performers.

The audio-visual and multimedia sector has seen significant growth in Europe, notes the EIT. Activities related to the publishing of computer games saw compound average growth of more than 25% in terms of total gross value added over the period 2008-2016. The creative and cultural sectorsʼ economic weight is comparable to that of the information and communications technology (ICT) and accommodation and food services sectors, yielding more than 4% of EU GDP.

An online live stream of the event has been running during the day at innoveit.eu.