Pilot Call: HEI Initiative – Innovation Capacity Building for Higher Education


Status: Active
Budget: EUR 1,2 million
Deadline: 25 May 2021


HEI Initiative: Innovation Capacity Building for Higher Education was launched by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and is led by EIT RawMaterials ‐ one of the EIT’s Knowledge and Innovation Communities.

It is part of the 2021–2027 EIT Strategy, and it aims to help higher education institutions to build the capacity to innovate and to teach innovation and entrepreneurship. More specifically, the initiative aims to encourage these institutions to look at their own practices and develop concrete actions to increase their impact on their ecosystems.

As part of HEI Initiative: Innovation Capacity Building for Higher Education, the EIT has announced a Pilot Call for Proposals, inviting higher education institutions to design activities that will improve their entrepreneurial and innovation capacity.

The scope of the HEI Initiative is broad. It aims to address the need for HEI transformation and the role of
HEIs in boosting sustainable economic growth and competitiveness by reinforcing the innovation capacity
of Member States. More specifically, the HEI Initiative aims to encourage HEIs to look at their own practices
and the opportunities for increasing their impact in their ecosystem, and it provides support to HEIs to
develop and undertake concrete Actions which are specifically tailored to achieve such enhanced impact.
HEIs will, consequently, identify the potential to take a significant step forward in increasing their
entrepreneurial and innovation capacity.

The call will fund 23 pilot projects to be implemented in 2021−2023. The total maximum budget per project is €1.2 million, broken down as follows: €400,000 for Phase 1 (July−December 2021) and €800,000 for Phase 2 (January 2022−July 2023).

In April, we will hold two online info sessions to present the HEI Initiative and the Pilot Call for Proposals in more detail. Both webinars will cover eligibility requirements, evaluation, administration, as well as guidance on how to define your Innovation Vision Action Plan. Select your preferred date below and register for one of the free info sessions before the deadline.

The organisation that submits the proposal must be a higher education institution established in the EU or a country associated with Horizon Europe. This institution applies on behalf of all participating organisations involved in the project (see the full eligibility requirements below).

Projects will be selected through a competitive evaluation and selection process. To participate in the call, higher education institutions must apply via this website (see below). The deadline for submitting applications is 25 May 2021, and the selected projects will be announced in June.

The website.




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