EIT HEI INITIATIVE Innovation Capacity Building for Higher Education
Innovation Capacity Building for Higher Education in Industry 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing SMART-2M
Project description

SMART-2M will build innovation and entrepreneurial capacity in higher education institutions (HEIs).

Its vision is to become the leading European initiative that empowers innovators and entrepreneurs to develop world-class solutions to Industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing challenges and create growth and skilled jobs.

Its objectives will be realised by promoting and supporting institutional change in HEIs and by strengthening the integration and contribution of HEIs to innovation ecosystems, through the EIT knowledge triangle model: interaction between business, education and innovation.

Four universities (Ireland, France, Greece, Serbia), two large international manufacturing companies (France, Serbia), RTO – collective research centre (Belgium) and two business companies (Serbia, Italy) will jointly implement at least six HEI initiative actions. The project’s objectives are based on HEInnovate self-assessments of partnering universities, considering all areas of innovation and entrepreneurship. This enables a realistic Innovation Vision Action Plan (IVAP) to reinforce the innovation capacity of Europe for Industry 4.0, aiming for long-standing sustainability. The project’s results will contribute to the strategic objectives and missions of at least three EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities: EIT Digital, EIT Manufacturing, and EIT RawMaterials, including the vision of the EIT Regional Innovation Scheme.

Project achieve

The project’s IVAP will achieve a pre-defined number of core EIT KPIs within 2021, and increase them in 2022 and 2023:

A minimum of 2 start-ups/scale-ups

will be supported in 2021, and 4 in both 2022 and 2023;

A minimum of 130 students

will be trained in innovation and entrepreneurship skills in 2021, and 200 in both 2022 and 2023 (a minimum of 12 students will be mentored in 2021 and 20 in both 2022 and 2023);

A minimum of 12 academic staff members

will be trained in innovation and entrepreneurship skills in 2021 and 24 in both 2022 and 2023, (a minimum of 4 academic staff members will be mentored in 2021 and 8 in both 2022 and 2023).

academic staff members
The project


by adopting a model for transnational technology transfer and a multi-annual HEI transferability plan to achieve institutional change and impact beyond project stakeholders to other EU universities and companies.

Project implementation (eight work packages) will:
Develop a training

(summer school) to enable exchange of good practices through enhanced networking and mutual learning

Virtual innovation forum

to enable people to create or develop their businesses and start-ups

Realise pilot projects

to support start-ups/scale-ups and utilise testbeds


innovation and entrepreneurial training programmes and mentoring schemes for staff and students


internships in businesses                                   


training materials, guidelines and reports


Innovation Capacity Building for Higher Education in Industry 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing

Project partners