The year 2022 was a transitional year for EIT Digital. After two years of pandemic and closedown, we were gradually able to return to our normal way of operating during the spring. This materialized at our Annual Conference, Grow Digital 22, where our pan-European ecosystem came materially together again after more than two years.
Return to normal was also reflected in our 2022 results, amongst others, the number of students applying and admitted to EIT Digital Master School, ventures applying to our annual EIT Digital Challenge scaleup competition or deep-tech innovation proposals submitted to the EIT Digital Open Innovation Factory which all exceeded those of the pandemic years.
At the same time, the EIT Digital Supervisory Board, supported by the management, finalized and endorsed the EIT Digital mid-term strategy aiming at defining the nature and activities of EIT Digital as of 2025 after the structural relationship with the European Institute of Technology and Innovation (EIT). Set up in 2010, EIT Digital was one of the first three EIT knowledge and innovation communities (KICs) supported by the EIT, alongside EIT Climate-KIC and EIT InnoEnergy.
The decision was for EIT Digital to act as a non-for-profit organization continuing its ecosystem, innovation and entrepreneurial education activities and achieving financial sustainability via balanced public and private financing. This strategy combines the best of the commercial and non-commercial souls of EIT Digital as digital is everywhere and enables growth in all industrial sectors and quality of life at all levels of the economy and society. I strongly believe in this strategy as the way forward for EIT Digital in the years to come.
In 2022, we continued to connect offering our partners and members access to our pan-European innovation network in various EU-funded projects, like the CONCORDIA cybersecurity competence network, the European Digital Innovation Hubs and AI on Demand Platform. Enabling the interchange between the business network and the EU digital innovation ecosystem is one of our biggest strengths and in 2022 we paved the way to further grow this opportunity for our partners going forward.
We continued our geographical expansion in 2022, by focusing on the RIS and Widening countries. In this EIT Digital is looking for regions which are ready to co-invest in building and scaling up their digital innovation ecosystems integrating them into our pan-European network. In 2022, we officially opened our Regional Office in Estonia and prepared the expansion in Romania and Greece, which will materialize in 2023.
2022 also was a transitional year for EIT Digital management: after 12 years Willem Jonker left his post as EIT Digital CEO. I would like to personally thank him for his dedication, inspired leadership, and for building the organisation EIT Digital is today. I am honoured to take over from him and lead EIT Digital through the next phase.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our members, customers, students, all other external stakeholders and the EIT Digital employees for a successful and productive year 2022. I am looking forward to continuing working with you all even closer in 2023.
EIT Digital IVZW