Bratislava and Vienna's joint candidacy for the leadership of the proposed European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) was presented by Slovak State Secretary at the Foreign Ministry Oľga Algayerova and Austria's Science and Research Minister Johannes Hahn on May 13 in Bratislava.
Addressing ambassadors accredited to Slovakia, Hahn emphasised the uniqueness and other positives of the joint candidacy and how it erases the imaginary line that divides the old and new EU countries. The European Commission (EC) is establishing the EIT as a project for top quality higher education, research and innovation, the TASR newswire wrote. The Institute should narrow the gap in the sphere of innovations between the EU and the US. During 2008-2013, the institute is scheduled to spend €308 million (almost Sk10 billion) directly from the EU budget.
The project should be implemented in two phases, the first of which will take six years. EIT, which is set to link up universities with enterprises in the research sphere, will focus mainly on climate change, renewable energy resources and information and communication technologies.
Other candidate countries vying for the EIT headquarters include Poland, Hungary and Spain. According to the EC's rules, new EU member states are preferred when decisions are made concerning the seats of new European institutions. The location of the EIT headquarters will be decided by the Council of Europe. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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