Researchers from the University of Cologne are taking part in a large-scale project on the aging of societies in the EU. The European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT) announced InnoLife as the winner of the EIT's 2014 call to create a new Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC). The EIT is the leading EU institution striving to integrate innovation, research and growth across the European Union. One of the pressing societal issues it addresses is aging. With the creation of KICs, it hopes to create synergies between higher education, research and business. InnoLife brings together more than 50 core partners and 90 associate partners from leading businesses, research centers and universities in 14 EU countries, including the University of Cologne with its strong age and ageing research focus.
"Dr. Pauline Schumacher from the Clinical Trials Centre Cologne (CTC Cologne) and the Translational Platform of the Excellence Cluster CECAD spearheaded the effort for the University of Cologne to become an associate partner of Europe's largest ever public-private partnership in the health sector," said Prof. Thomas Krieg, Dean of the university's Medical Faculty.
"The outstanding factor behind the decision was the potential of the winners to create innovations needed to address critical challenges for today's societies. EIT Health and EIT Raw Materials are excellent partnerships that will generate impact, in terms of growth and job creation, which are at the heart of the Europe 2020 Strategy and President Juncker's Commission top priorities," said Martin Kern, EIT Interim Director.
Dr. Ursula Redeker, chairperson of Roche Diagnostics GmbH and coordinator of the InnoLife consortium, underlined the opportunities of the Knowledge and Innovation Community to enable better and longer lives for people in Europe by creating new businesses and innovations.
To initiate and coordinate the numerous projects, the consortium will have its headquarters in Munich, Germany. Regional activities will be organized by Co-location Centres in different European countries. After the signing of a framework contract with the EIT, EIT Health expects activities to last from mid 2015 until 2022.