I am pleased to announce we’ve joined EIT Manufacturing as one of their ScaleUps. In fact, we are the first UK startup to join and hope that this paves the way for many others. More about joining EIT here.
You may be wondering though, who they are, what they do. EIT Manufacturing is an Innovation Community within the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) – that connects the leading manufacturing actors in Europe. They are funded by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and the EU as well as other private and public donors. In 2020 they received just under €27 million from EIT central to support a broad range of activities. It’s this particular set of activities and the business creation opportunities that led us to join.
The consortium brings together more than 60 leading organisations in business, education, and research, from 17 countries. This includes some of the industry’s biggest names such as Whirlpool, Siemens, Philips, P&G, and many prominent research and academic institutes. Check out their full list of partners on their site.
Founded in 2019, it is one of eight innovation communities within EIT. Their aim is to establish an innovation community and build a network of ecosystems where people can acquire skills and find opportunities; and where innovators are able to attract investors and accede venture capital.
Their mission is simple;
to bring European manufacturing actors together in innovation ecosystems that add unique value to European products, processes and services.
In practical terms, what does this mean?
What does this mean to a startup like us? EIT Manufacturing offers a diverse range of activities across education, innovation, and business creation, many of which involve AI and other aspects of Industry 4.0 such as IIoT. There are opportunities to secure funding, participate in manufacturing accelerators and most importantly collaborate with some of the world’s best industrial players. They have identified four flagships that they focus on adding value to European manufacturing;
- Flexible Production Systems for Competitive Manufacturing
- Low Environmental Footprint Systems & Circular Economy for Green Manufacturing
- Digital & Collaborative Solutions for Innovative Manufacturing Ecosystem
- Human-machine Co-working for Socially Sustainable Manufacturing.
They also run a series of industry match-making events and challenges whereby major manufacturers look to partner with innovative solution providers, like us! For example, their current BoostUp competition has three challenges from Whirlpool EMEA, Voestalpine (global steel manufacturers,) and EROSKI (global retailers) and are open to any businesses. As a tech startup working with manufacturers this is invaluable as it’s like an open door to participate, get feedback and even do pilot projects. On a more strategic level, they are also focused on improving perceptions of manufacturing among young people and their parents, repositioning it as an innovative, imaginative, and impactful production activity.
Joining EIT is a fantastic opportunity for us. The organisation does brilliant work to benefit manufacturing across Europe and the breadth of activities and level of engagement with industry is hugely appealing. It’s network-driven, accessible, and offers funding mechanisms to make collaboration happen.
Find out more about EIT, what they do, and the projects they are currently involved in over on their site.