EUROPEAN INNOVATION PARTNERSHIPS (EIPs)
What are EIPs?
European Innovation Partnerships (EIPs) are a novel initiative launched by the European Commission to tackle the challenges of the whole research and innovation chain. They are are not a new funding instrument. Rather, they provide a shared platform for cooperation between public and private sectors across borders to accelerate the uptake of innovation and increase research and development of efforts, so that targets can be achieved faster and more efficiently than with already existing approaches.
What are the goals of EIPs?
EIPs are about connecting people and joining forces to speed up innovation and bring innovative ideas quicker to practice. They aim to address weaknesses, overcome perceived bottlenecks and obstacles in the European research and innovation system that prevent or slow down good ideas being developed and brought to market. These include under-investments, outdated regulation, lack of standards and fragmentation of markets.
How do EIPs work?
EIPs organise their work through the establishment of Operational Groups (OGs). OGs are action and results-oriented groups where all actors meet and network to work together. They usually consist of several partners with a common interest in a specific practical innovation project.
Each EIP is led by a High Level Steering Group, which consists of a limited number of high-level representatives from the Member States (Ministers, deputes, industrialists, scientists and other stakeholders). Each Steering Group is chaired by one or two EU Commissioners with responsibility for the policy area o areas concerned. This board is assisted by action groups (Sherpa Groups), which are composed of experts from public and private sectors. A Secretariat, which is provided by the Commission, supports the work of each EIP.
The Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) is a multi-annual strategic work plan that defines concrete objectives, responsibilities and milestones.
EIPs are launched only in areas in which government intervention is clearly justified and where combining EU, national and regional efforts in R&D measures will lead to reaching the targets faster and more efficiently.
At present, there are three EIPs relevant for the Forest-based Sector: EIP on Raw Materials (EIP RAW MATERIALS), EIP on Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability (EIP-AGRI) and EIP on Water (EIP-WATER). Although the focus for our sector is mainly on EIP RAW MATERIALS and EIP-AGRI, and not so much on EIP-WATER.
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