BRUSSELS - The EU's main climate innovation initiative Climate-KIC and regional research and innovation network ERRIN have signed a memorandum of understanding at the Committee of the Regions in Brussels today (19 March 2014), agreeing to develop joint activities and share information.
In the memorandum, Climate-KIC and ERRIN highlight they will share information and develop joint activities to achieve a greater critical mass and encourage - through the individual members of each organisation - more activities such as project development.
Mary Ritter, Climate-KIC CEO, and Françoise Chotard, Directrice of Ile de France Europe and Chair of ERRIN signed the agreement at an event hosted by Thomas Wobben, Director of Horizontal Polices and Networks of the Committee of the Regions.
"I'm delighted to be signing this memorandum at the Committee of the Regions today," said Ritter, "I'm looking forward to what I'm confident will be a very successful collaboration between researchers and innovators connected to Climate-KIC and ERRIN across Europe," she said.
Chotard said: "For many years ERRIN has followed and supported the progress of Climate-KIC - both in terms of the topic which is of great importance to all regions but also due to the innovative manner in which regions have been incorporated into its community."
Committee of the Regions
The agreement was signed at the Committee of the Regions, in the presence of the European Commission and high-level representatives from regional representations to the European Union in Brussels.
"We need to leverage the collective innovation potential of countries and regions across our part of the world in order to make sure Europe can compete globally and create sustainable growth and jobs in the clean-tech sector - and beat climate change," Ritter said.
Climate-KIC and ERRIN are interested in improving coordination and collaboration in research and innovation, enhancing the competitiveness of the European climate innovation and sustainable energy sectors and in contributing to supporting activities that will mitigate climate change and improve resource efficiency.
"We also support the outreach programme where more EU regions will be able to directly benefit from and contribute to Climate-KIC activities," said Chotard, "We look forward to working much more closely to advance the interests of both organisations."
Climate-KIC is one of the Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) created in 2010 by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), the EU body tasked with creating sustainable European growth while dealing with the global challenges of our time.
The EIT has confirmed an initial €63 million grant for Climate-KIC in 2014 to complement financial and in-kind support from over 200 businesses, universities and public bodies from across Europe.
ERRIN is a Brussels-based platform of research and innovation organisations and stakeholders in regions. The network aims to strengthen regional research and innovation capacities by exchanging information, sharing best practice, supporting European project development, policy shaping and profile-raising by working together with a partnership approach.
The memorandum states that Climate-KIC and ERRIN will:
Explore opportunities to join forces to contribute to developing common actions involving EU institutions responding to climate change, industrial and resource efficiency strategies in the interests of both memberships, e.g. aligning responses to European Commission consultations and inquiries; Encourage the sharing of resources in cooperative research and innovation activities and their applications, as well as in prospective activities and scientific brainstorming in action or working groups; Collaborate in organising events including knowledge transfer on scientific, innovation and demonstration projects or focused on dissemination of knowledge and products.
The EU's main climate innovation initiative
Climate-KIC is the EU's main climate innovation initiative. It is Europe's largest public-private innovation partnership focused on mitigating and adapting to climate change. Climate-KIC consists of companies, academic institutions and the public sector.
The organisation has its headquarters in London, UK, and leverages its centres across Europe to support start-up companies, to bring together partners on innovation projects and to educate students to bring about a connected, creative transformation of knowledge and ideas into products and services that help mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Climate-KIC currently has centres in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK, a Nordic centre in Denmark and is represented in the regions of Valencia, Central Hungary, Emilia Romagna, Lower Silesia, Hessen and the West Midlands.
As part of the European Commission's Regional Innovation Scheme, Climate-KIC will also be working with regions in Slovenia, Ireland, Finland, Portugal, and Romania.