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EIT Community's 2023 Highlights: AI Advancements, NEB Pioneering, and Empowering Women in Entrepreneurship

In 2023, EIT Food continued to work closely with six other EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) to advance key topics aligned with the European Commission's agenda.

24 Jan 2024

Three EIT Community initiatives, collectively known as 'strategic synergies' and coordinated by EIT Food, have shown significant progress last year: the Artificial Intelligence (AI) initiative, focused on the responsible adoption of AI to boost competitiveness; New European Bauhaus (NEB), promoting sustainable entrepreneurship; and Supernovas, empowering women in business leadership.

Promoting the ethical uptake of Artificial Intelligence

The EIT Community continued driving Artificial Intelligence (AI) forward through its ecosystem-driven approach. The EIT Community AI collaborated with the European Digital SME Alliance to establish a focus group dedicated to AI. Alongside this, they launched 14 pilot tests for Skills Sync, an online tool designed to recommend personalised training courses and enhance AI-related skills. This effort directly contributes to the goals of EIT Deep Tech Talent Initiative. Additionally, they introduced an AI conformity tool aiming to simplify compliance with the rules outlined in the EU AI Act for small businesses and companies.

“The EIT AI Community this year established the foundations for the framework and services to be able in the next years to be a key facilitator of the EU AI ecosystem by providing EIT as a service solution.“

- Orestis Trasanidis, Lead of EIT Community AI, EIT Digital

Pioneering the New European Bauhaus

The EIT Community's dedication to its New European Bauhaus (NEB) initiative is leaving a real impact on the ground. The successful launch of five programmes has transformed the EIT NEB initiative into a structured, step-by-step growth journey for projects and applicants to flourish. Ignite NEB, consisting of four events in different locations, was a lively celebration of NEB values and team ideation. NEB Mentors were brought in to attract a diverse group of experts in business and design, aiding participants across all NEB programmes in nurturing an entrepreneurial mindset and developing sustainable prototypes. Their efforts were particularly beneficial for participants in the Grow NEB programme, aiding in turning ideas expressed in Ignite NEB into reality through the Catalyse NEB start-ups accelerator.

Connect NEB, Co-create NEB, and Enhance NEB, the initiatives within NEB Citizen Engagement, persist in co-creating a sustainable future in areas that need it the most. These initiatives showcase the tangible impact and potential scalability of the projects supported by NEB.

“2023 has been a turning point for the EIT Community NEB; after three years of experimentation and exploration, the Community reached NEB maturity, piloting activities and consolidating the other initiatives that make us unique.”

- Natalia Vera, Lead of the New European Bauhaus programme, EIT Climate-KIC

Empowering women in entrepreneurship through the Supernovas programme

In 2023, Supernovas continued to support women investors and female-led startups, launching programmes like RaisingVC stars, the Junior and Senior Angel Academy, and the Supernovas Investment Forums. Over 200 participants engaged in various Supernovas activities, with notable support provided to over 30 startups. Supernovas' collaboration with major EU stakeholders, such as the EIC, EIB and EIF and its representation in key events solidified its position in the entrepreneurship ecosystem.

In their dedication to bringing more women to the entrepreneurship ecosystem, Supernovas secured five new internships in VCs within the +20 European venture capital funds scouting for female STEAM talent across Europe through Supernovas. Interviews between candidates and VCs continue during the first quarter of 2024.

“Supernovas has continued to build the blocks to become a reference community, whose offer will cover the needs of investors in terms of learning, networking and access to dealflow.”

- Amparo de San José, Lead of the Supernovas programme, EIT Food

A new EIT Community brand

The EIT Community underwent a makeover, consolidating flagship activities previously known as Cross-KIC under a new unified brand. This transformation introduced a fresh visual identity with new logos and an upcoming website. A highlight was the launch of the 'Shaping Tomorrow' article series, celebrating individuals and projects supported by EIT Community initiatives and their positive impact.

“In 2023, a successful identity revamp unveiled the EIT Community as the unified brand underpinning the vital work and combined efforts of the strategic synergies programmes – solidifying our activities internally and externally as a beacon of effective innovation in Europe and beyond.

- Mirko Miceli, Coordinator of the Strategic Synergies programmes, EIT Food

Looking ahead, the EIT Community remains steadfast in its commitment to drive innovation and foster collaboration in key areas. Get ready for exciting new developments and initiatives as we carry on our mission to create positive and impactful change in 2024!

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