EIT Digital - global outlook key to delivering digital innovation

Willem Jonker, CEO of EIT Digital

Willem Jonker, CEO of EIT Digital

EIT Digital Conference 2017

EIT Digital Conference 2017

EIT Digital Conference 2017

EIT Digital Conference 2017

On the occasion of its 2017 Annual Conference, bringing together Europe's leading digital scaleups, industries and academic institutions, EIT Digital announced the organisation's 2016 results, articulated the direction the business will take in 2017, and highlighted global orientation as the main requirement in driving Europe's digital transformation.

Brussels, March 21, 2017

Willem Jonker, CEO of EIT Digital, today welcomed leading figures from the European innovation ecosystem at EIT Digital's Annual Conference. Mr. Jonker outlined the results of the organisation's investment in digital innovation and entrepreneurship, and announced a number of initiatives which will see EIT Digital reinforcing its role as the catalyst driving the digital transformation across Europe and beyond. The event, now in its 2nd year, brought together over 40 digital innovators demo-ing their products, EIT Digital's industrial partners, academic and research institutions, and policy makers under one roof at the EGG Conference Centre in Brussels.

Delivering on our 2016 promises

The value and impact created by EIT Digital's results in 2016 were highlighted in the Annual Report, published on March 20. In the area of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 2016 saw nine new companies created; 75 products and services commercially launched; over 120 startups coached by the EIT Digital Accelerator, and €22m in capital raised for Accelerator-supported startups. In Entrepreneurial Education, more than 500 Master School and 140 Doctoral students were enrolled. Over 20 courses launched for professional students and 20,000 students have followed an EIT Digital MOOC.

Increasing Impact in 2017

"The 2016 results make us confident that we are on the right track to becoming the enduring, sustainable and transformative organisation Europe needs to drive digital innovation," stated Mr. Jonker. EIT Digital plans to invest €300 million in Innovation and Entrepreneurship as well as Entrepreneurial Education in nine European countries over the course of 2017. The expected outcomes are:

Increased impact in acceleration of European Innovation

  • a 50% increase with respect to 2016 in delivering new products and services to the market - a total of 110 is expected to be delivered in 2017
  • a 20% increase in the number of ventures created from Innovation Activities
  • an intake of at least 60 new scaleups for the EIT Digital Accelerator
  • increased revenue for the scaleups in the Accelerator portfolio - expected to reach an average of €3.5m in 2017
  • doubling of the total valuation of the portfolio with respect to 2016

Enhanced Entrepreneurial Education offerings

  • intake of a minimum 400 new students in the Master School
  • intake of 40 new Industrial Doctoral students
  • deployment of several MOOCs and SPOCs (Specific Personalised Open Courses) in online education programme
  • deployment of two micro-master programmes on Coursera (Embedded Systems and Data Science), where the first six months can be taken on-line
  • offering of 10 Summer Schools in nine countries including for the first time, a Summer School organised by one of our ARISE partners (Portugal)

Ongoing commitment to fostering innovation across borders

  • The signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on March 21 with the European Startup Network, will see the two organisations working together to stimulate startups and scaleups to internationalise in Europe and beyond.
  • EIT Digital will be co-organising in September 2017, Startup Europe comes to Silicon Valley (SEC2SV) to bring together EU policy makers, startups, European scaleups and corporations to meet Silicon Valley stakeholders.
  • EIT Digital is also a co-organiser of the 2017 Startup Nations Summit (20-22 November alongside the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and Startup Estonia.

Talking at the conference, Mr Jonker said:

"Events like these demonstrate the wealth of innovative entrepreneurship we have in Europe. It's important to come together like this not only to showcase the pioneering work being done to drive digital transformation, but to celebrate the diversity and breadth of the talent making it happen. Europe's digital transformation could boost GDP by €2.5 trillion over the next decade. But the key to us getting there lies in having a global outlook."

"All our initiatives have this global outlook at their core. Innovation thrives on the transfer of people, knowledge and ideas. It's in EIT Digital's DNA, it's at the heart of our Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurial Education programmes."

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