Brussels (BE), April 2016 - Willem Jonker, CEO EIT Digital, announced the results of the organisation’s €1 billion investment in digital innovation and entrepreneurship at the Driving Europe’s Digital Transformation conference in Brussels. He also announced plans for an additional investment of €1 billion over the coming years. EIT Digital will accelerate market uptake of research-based digital technologies by investing in four strategic areas: digital cities, digital industry, digital wellbeing and digital infrastructure.
"The digital transformation is happening globally, and it is our role to ensure Europe is at the forefront so we have a competitive economy and an improved quality of life across our continent. For that, we need to mobilise our innovation strengths to create and transform industries, to develop our cities, and to refocus our healthcare system. In addition, we need to invest in people through education in digital skills to ensure we have a workforce ready to drive this digital transformation," explains Jonker.
Since 2010, EIT Digital (then EIT ICT Labs) has been boosting digital innovation and developing entrepreneurial digital talent across Europe to increase economic growth and improve quality of life. Today, it mobilises a pan-European ecosystem of over 130 top European corporations, SMEs, startups, universities, and research institutes, delivering
- a partnership that has grown from thirty partners in 2010,to just over 130 in 2016. The organisation has operations in nine digital hotspots in Europe, addresses the rest of EU-28 through an Outreach and Regional Innovation Scheme programme, and opened a hub in Silicon Valley last year
- a steadily increasing annual investment, from €19 million in 2010 to €300 million in 2015, for an overall total of more than €1 billion to date, with a strong and growing investment in business creation
- over 300 innovation activities such as 3cixty, Mobile Shield, Trusted Cloud, and Fit2Perform, totalling more than fifty products and services, eighty technology transfers, and the creation of 35 startups/spinoffs
- a pan-European EIT Digital Accelerator that has supported around 200 companies. The average annual revenue growth of supported startups in 2015 was 94%. The estimated valuation of all startups admitted to the programme crossed the €1 billion mark, and they collectively employ more than 2,000 people
- a total of €68 million in venture capital raised for eighty companies. In 2015, alone €22.7 million in equity financing was raised for the EIT Digital portfolio companies
- over 1,500 students studying in one of our three EIT-labelled blended digital education programmes
- over 1,000 events held across Europe to mobilise the digital community.
Looking ahead, EIT Digital expects to invest at least €1 billion more in the years to come. These investments will focus on the areas of greatest challenge and opportunity for Europe in the digital field:
- digital cities: higher quality of urban life (including safety and mobility) due to connected and informed citizens
- digital industry: global competitive European industry delivering personalised goods and services at mass-production costs
- digital wellbeing: better quality of life and sustainable care through use of digital solutions for prevention of and coping with health issues
- digital infrastructure: affordable access for all European citizens and business to high- performing, secure digital infrastructure.
During the years to come, our execution of a strong portfolio of innovation and education activities in these areas is targeted to at least triple the number of products, services, and technology transfers; increase the valuation of our scale-up portfolio to at least €5 billion; and scale up the number of students enrolled in our education programs to over 7,500.