To help the EU deliver the Green Deal, the ORs would need a significant boost in capacity building to push forward innovation and entrepreneurship in areas that matter to support the EU Green Deal and Circular Economy. The HEI Initiative comes at the right time to boost collaboration between universities, research and industry stakeholders from the Outermost Regions (ORs) to advance innovation and entrepreneurship in areas related with the implementation of the EU Green Deal.
Our shared vision for the ORs’ HEIs (Higher Education Institutions) is in line with the strategic agenda of the EIT, pushing forward:
- Innovation ratings and technology transfer possibilities to research and industry (Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Business);
- Entrepreneurial skills of students at ORs (Quality of Education);
- Entrepreneurial outputs of HEIs (Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Business);
- Retention of local talent (Institutional Change);
- Communication, joint development and joint uptake of innovation (Partnerships);
- Uptake of Circular economy intrinsic aspects present in these island settings (Quality of education);
- Integration and recognition of the ORs into the European mainland activities (Partnerships);
- Cooperation between ORs’ HEIs and those from mainland Europe (Partnerships);
- Recognition of challenges faced by the ORs (Institutional change).
We aim to introduce a complementary set of concrete measures and actions, based on real-life needs, creating a new foundation of an entrepreneurial environment mutually beneficial for universities and entrepreneurs alike, resulting in:
- Improved SMEs access to HEIs research infrastructures, testbeds, and laboratory facilities;
- Improved HEIs understanding of SMEs perspectives and capacity requirements to turn innovations into marketable products and services;
- Simplified intellectual property rights regimes and a simplified legal framework for HEI-SME cooperation;
- Better, faster and simplified access to finance for new start-ups created in academic environments by staff or students;
- Improved conditions for demand-driven research and education activities at universities in the ORs;
- A new model for SME-HEI cooperation that can be applied in other remote and rural parts of Europe.