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.

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

The project will improve technology transfer offices 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:
Pilot Call Timeline

About the EIT’s HEI Initiative

The EIT’s HEI Initiative: Innovation Capacity Building for Higher Education was launched by the European Institute of Innovation and technology (EIT) and is led by EIT RawMaterials − one of the EIT’s Knowledge and Innovation Communities.

The initiative is part of the EIT’s 2021–2027 EIT Strategy, and it aims to help higher education institutions to build the capacity to innovate and to teach innovation and entrepreneurship. More specifically, the initiative aims to encourage these institutions to look at their own practices and develop concrete actions to increase their impact on their ecosystems.

In March 2020, the HEI Initiative launched a Pilot Call for Proposals, inviting higher education institutions to design activities that will improve their entrepreneurial and innovation capacity. We are pleased to announce the results of this Pilot Call. To stay updated on the latest developments, visit the initiative website ( and subscribe to our newsletter.