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EIT marks 10 years of European innovation

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) celebrated the 10th anniversary of its launch yesterday, also announcing the winners of the EIT Awards 2018, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.

Tibor Navracsics

The contest featured 38 nominees competing in various categories recognizing excellence in innovation, with female entrepreneurs making up more than 40% of the nominees.

As a part of the program, a conference also took place in Budapest, with more than 350 innovators gathering in the Hungarian capital, discussing EITʼs role in driving innovation across Europe and celebrating the EIT Awards.

Apart from the innovators and entrepreneurs, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics as well as MEP Lambert van Nistelrooij, and several policy-makers committed to boosting entrepreneurship and innovation attended the event.

"The EIT is now ten years old – a reason to celebrate! Over the course of this decade, a creative pan-European network, Europe’s largest innovation community, has shown what is possible with a relentless focus on excellence, ambition and – most of all – young people’s talents and aspirations," said Navracsics.

"Now we need to put everything in place to ensure that this project continues to grow and evolve over the next ten years. This will take a sound strategy focusing on the big challenges facing our societies and further enhancing educational performance, a strong focus on involving regions across all of the European Union as well as adequate funding."

Dirk Jan van den Berg, Chairman of the EIT governing board said, "Our unique network has nurtured more than 1,250 starups and scaleups that have raised in excess of EUR 890 million in external investment and create over 6,100 highly skilled jobs. That said, we are focused on the next 10 years, conscious that we cannot be complacent."  He added: "Europe is facing an ‘innovation emergency’. As Europe’s one-stop shop for innovation, the EIT looks forward to collaborate with partners to power students, innovators and entrepreneurs."

Further details about the award winners and their projects can be found here.