The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is an independent European body, which encompasses 8 different innovation communities on key sectoral areas - such as agriculture, climate and environment, technology, and other key sectors and industries. The hub, responsible for managing innovation in digital and technology, EIT Digital offers a variety of digital skills resources, which can be found on the community’s website, organised in themes according to EIT’s focus areas: 1) Digital Industry, 2) Digital Cities, 3) Digital Wellbeing, 4) Digital Tech and 5) Digital Finance.
Together with many activities and events such as hackathons and awards, EIT Digital also organises the EIT Digital Academy - a programme with four different formal education structures (Master School, an Industrial Doctoral School, a Summer School and a Professional School). All education programmes, regardless of specialisation, combine the development of advanced digital skills with entrepreneurial knowledge. The EIT masters programme combines digital skills in eight different specialisations with a minor in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. PHD-level engagement is also underpinned by a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as geographical mobility and alignment with other EIT innovation areas. The summer schools are targeted at professionals, master students, PhD students and other students and focus on the EIT Digital focus areas.
EIT Digital's aim is to achieve global impact through European-developed innovation and technology solutions, encourage the development of global digital talent and skills in emerging technologies, and create a sandbox for innovation and deliver ground-breaking solutions to the market, which have the potential of making a substantial contribution to the sector, which they target. EIT Digital also supports businesses, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs to fully benefit from the impact of digital transformation in services and processes - and put them at the 'forefront of digital innovation;.
With a pan-European network of more than 200 organisations, companies, SMEs, research institutes, universities, and start-ups, EIT Digital provides an environment for students, researchers and entrepreneurs to collaborate within an open innovation setting, and develop solutions with positive impact. The EIT ecosystem branches are located in: Amsterdam, Berlin, Braga, Budapest, Brussels, Eindhoven, Edinburgh, Helsinki, London, Madrid, Milano, Munich, Nice, Paris, Rennes, Stockholm, Trento, and San Francisco. Through ARISE Europe, EIT Digital is active in countries located in Southern and South-Eastern Europe, CEE and the Baltics to pursue its activities in regions where the organisation is not established yet.
As a pan-European initiative launched by the European Union, EIT Digital's impact has been extensive, covering a broad range of sectors and societal groups. The upskilling programmes and trainings foster the simultaneous development of information technology (IT) and entrepreneurial skills EIT Digital's graduates are well-received by the European and global labour market and have been successful in securing employment. The initiative's success has grown: currently, spots in the EIT Digital Academy are subject to high competition between applicants; the organisation has also made available a variety of courses through Coursera, open to the general public and free of charge (to audit) thereby enhancing its outreach. The combination of online and face-to-face programmes further contributes to the programme's outreach. As of 2019, EIT Digital brings together more than 270 partners and offers an easy-to-navigate website, with clear overview of learning opportunities and examples. Between 2011 to 2019, almost 3,000 students went through doctoral and master's level programmes and online opportunities offered through Coursera have succeeded in reaching out to additional 100,000 learners.