Driving Change and Capacity Building Towards Innovative, Entrepreneurial Universities

As part of the EIT’s HEI Initiative, in March 2021 the EIT announced a Pilot Call for Proposals, inviting higher education institutions to design activities that will improve their entrepreneurial and innovation capacity.


The awarded projects include 142 higher education institutions from 32 countries, and they will receive maximum funding of €28.8 million for Phase 1 and Phase 2. InnoChange is one of 24 awarded projects.

InnoChange aims to increase the entrepreneurial and innovation capacity and attitude of higher education institutions (HEIs). Another objective is to strengthen and better integrate into, and engage with, innovation ecosystems in Central and Eastern Europe. The project brings together HEIs from various innovation backgrounds. InnoChange aims to:
• develop and improve the entrepreneurial education curriculum and associated teacher training;
• soak up and nurture innovation from all corners of student, faculty, and research activities at university;
• provide effective support to deserving early-stage innovation projects;
• build a pragmatic, yet comprehensive network of multi-faceted industry partnerships;
• enable support structures for entrepreneurship communities at HEIs through mutual learning.

A key impact will be to significantly advance the capacity of HEIs in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship and to bridge the gap between theory and practice. The project also aims to create a sustainable innovation management structure with a well-defined framework for innovation, which is supported by a mature innovation culture of transforming ideas into products. Entrepreneurship could be seen as a key transversal competence relevant to all researchers regardless of whether they are interested in setting up a business. Training non-academic staff will enable them to sharpen processes and other key factors that together will bring substantial improvement in tech transfer practices.

The participating partners’ complementary expertise will create a solid foundation for implementing innovation education based on the knowledge triangle. Industrial associate partners will provide the business and innovation part of the knowledge triangle. They will also provide input for the research and education aspects of the triangle and exploit the potential of innovation-skilled students and staff, tightening the link between academy and industry.

InnoChange triggers and links various ecosystems at universities and industry for the benefit of digital transformation.

During the project funding period, the primary beneficiaries of the project are students (undergraduate, graduate and PhD), and academic and non-academic staff supporting innovation activities. In addition, further beneficiaries of the project will be HEIs (InnoChange partners and network universities), EIT Knowledge and Innovation Community partners, innovation project groups, industry, business companies, incubators, and accelerators.

European citizens and consumers will benefit from the project’s innovative results and technical digital innovations already during the lifetime of the project, as well as after its completion.

Some more facts about the project activities

Insights to the InnoChange project

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See what InnoChange has for you in 2021

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InnoChange WP2: I&E education and training

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