José Manuel Leceta, General Manager of Red.es, and Totti Könnölä, CEO of Insight Foresight Institute write on their experiences on the EIT. The article was presented in the seminar “Growth ecosystems as a tool in the new industrial and innovation policy” organised by by SITRA and Ministry of Economy and Employment of Finland.
Established economies face major challenges in renewing their industrial basis, apparent in Europe that is struggling over decades in turning research into innovation. Policy experimentation in the periphery of government and power structures may offer opportunities for radically new policy and governance models and practices. Herein, the ‘European Institute of Innovation and Technology’ (EIT) is a relatively new policy experiment for entrepreneurial innovation. Created in 2008, the EIT operates through socalled ‘Knowledge and Innovation Communities’ (KICs) which integrate partners from the Knowledge Triangle of higher education, research and business, encompassing bottomup ‘co-creation’ of novel innovation models for Pan-European entrepreneurial innovation ecosystems. While the high political profile of the EIT has constrained partly its freedom to experiment, European-wide networked excellence approach and business logic in managing KICs has created new insights on experimental governance models to be explored further. Building on action research case study the paper codifies some of these developments and opens up an avenue for further work on the experimental governance of Pan-European entrepreneurial innovation ecosystems.