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European regions unite to strengthen push for low carbon innovation

July 28, 2016

BRUSSELS, 28 JULY - Following a competitive call and selection process in May and June, Climate-KIC - the EU's public-private climate innovation initiative - has announced it is expanding its climate innovation network to include five additional regions across Europe. The new consortia came together yesterday in Brussels to launch high-impact low-carbon steps that will be implemented until the end of the year.

Climate-KIC has expanded its uniquely integrated innovation model to include five more areas within the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS) programme. Since 2014, Climate-KIC has piloted activities in Estonia, Portugal, Romania and Slovenia, focusing on professional education and acceleration as part of EIT RIS. The scheme has now widened to include regions in Serbia, Cyprus, Latvia, Malta, Bulgaria and a new Portuguese consortium.

The scheme helps regions kick start low-carbon innovation locally and significantly boost their capacity to implement the highest impact ideas. It also allows regions to access Climate-KIC's mobility funding to ensure that students, researchers, teaching staff and entrepreneurs have the opportunity to participate in the organisation's activities around Europe.

Mike Cherrett, Director - External Partnerships, Climate-KIC, said: "Active involvement at a regional level is key to ensuring that Europe continues to lead the way in climate change development. The five new consortia to join our scheme will help us build on the success of our first EIT RIS pilot and further strengthen our network of partners across Europe."

Stylianos Yiatros, on behalf of the Cypriot consortium, said: "Cyprus is delighted to join the EIT Climate-KIC RIS programme and bring climate change innovation to the Eastern Mediterranean region. Our involvement with Climate-KIC is strongly aligned with the Cyprus Smart Specialization Strategy; and our consortium, comprising the Cyprus University of Technology, Chrysalis LEAP and the Cyprus Energy Agency, as well as our national network of partners, are very excited to work with the rest of the Climate-KIC regions and centres to bring sustainable growth in the region."

Climate-KIC's announcement comes as partners from around Europe met in Brussels, Belgium to welcome the new regions to the scheme and share learning and successes from the first two years. Activities included tailored capacity-building activities on smart specialisation, smart cities and communities, and wider discussion about access to EU funding.

Supported by the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT), Climate-KIC carries the EU's mandate to deliver large-scale innovation for climate change mitigation and adaptation across the continent, and globally. Climate-KIC already works with a broad coalition of cities, regions and its network of business and academic partners to test and scale-up climate change solutions - and to train local students and entrepreneurs.

Climate-KIC currently runs low-carbon projects in most EU member states and third countries like Norway and Switzerland. The organisation also runs permanent innovation centres in cities such as London, Berlin and Paris. The EIT's Regional Innovation Scheme boosts the climate innovation engagement by European regions not formally within Climate-KIC's geographic network.
Notes to editors

About Climate-KIC

Climate-KIC is the EU's largest public private partnership addressing climate change through innovation to build a zero carbon economy.

We address climate change across four priority themes: urban areas, land use, production systems, climate metrics and finance. Education is at the heart of these themes to inspire and empower the next generation of climate leaders.

We run programmes for students, start-ups and innovators across Europe via centres in major cities, convening a community of the best people and organisations.

Our approach starts with improving the way people live in cities. Our focus on industry creates the products required for a better living environment, and we look to optimise land use to produce the food people need.

Climate-KIC is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.

The EIT Regional Innovation Scheme

The EIT Regional Innovation Scheme (EIT RIS) is a structured outreach scheme to support the integration of the Knowledge Triangle and increase the innovation capacity in areas and regions in Europe not directly benefiting from the EIT and its Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs). It is based on a two-way engagement between KICs and selected partnerships from the wider European innovation community and is based on the following key principle.

The Regional Innovation Scheme helps regions kick-start low carbon innovation and significantly boost their capacity to implement the highest impact ideas.

It also allows regions to access Climate-KIC's mobility funding to ensure that talent - students, researchers, teaching staff and entrepreneurs have the opportunity to participate in the organisation's activities around Europe.

Current EIT RIS network:

Timis region of Romania

New regions:

Central Serbia with Belgrade (consortium led by the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry) With the selection of a Serbian region, Climate-KIC is for the first time working with an EU candidate country
Cyprus (consortium: Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus Energy Agency, Chrysalis LEAP)
Latvia (consortium led by Riga Technical University, Competence Centre for Smart Engineering Systems, Transport and Energy, Cleantech Latvia, Wetsus-European Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Water Technology, Green Technology Incubator)
Malta (consortium led by Paragon Europe, involvement of Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST), Malta Enterprise, Malta Life Sciences Park, Malta Local Councils' Association)
Lisbon region of Portugal (consortium led by University NOVA of Lisbon, also involved: Building Global Innovators (BGI), Startup Lisboa, Climate Change Impacts Adaptation and Modelling research group (CCIAM) of the University of Lisbon, the Portuguese Environmental Agency, ZERO - Association for the Sustainability of the Earth System)
Southwest region of Bulgaria (consortium led by Cleantech Bulgaria, including amongst others Sofia Municipality, The Confederation of employers and industrialists in Bulgaria, KRIB, or Sofia Tech Park)

Media Contacts

General inquiries

Angela Howarth, Head of Communications, Climate-KIC
+44 (0) 7872 850 084

Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS):


Mike Cherrett EIT RIS, Climate-KIC
+44 7714051492


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