EIT ICT Labs is about bringing bright people together
On May 1st, the Call for Activities to be included in the Business plan of EIT ICT Labs for 2012 was opened. After spending time and resources on getting organized – and recognized – the focus is now on the activities in the nine action lines for Education, Research and Business and the six thematic action lines. At a road show event at the Stockholm Node and Co-location Centre at KTH in Kista, EIT ICT Labs CEO Willem Jonker and CSO Martti Mäntylä presented the Call for Activities 2012.
One major challenge is to combine excellent research and excellent business. The activities within EIT ICT Labs will aim at generating innovation in existing companies as well as supporting the creation of new businesses. Jonker emphasized that to succeed in the aim of turning Europe into a global leader in ICT Innovation, it is vital to bring bright people together to support the activities combining the three legs of the Knowledge triangle - education, research and business.
Long-term effects of many action lines
The activities are organized and funded through a Catalyst-Carrier model where 25 percent (catalyst) is a direct grant from EIT and 75 percent (carrier) is required co-funding from partners and national organisations.
- Catalysts are developed and applied to existing activities. In Education it could be achieved by e.g . adding a catalyst focusing on Innovation and Entrepreneurship to an existing master course, Willem Jonker explained. By applying this catalyst to the carrier activity we provide the students with both a strong technical background as well as with high quality business skills.
- It is of course important to be able to measure how well the funding is spent and what impact we achieve. The EIT ICT Labs Master School will start in 2012 with 200 students but the real impact of this will be evident in maybe 2026. How many of the students are then in key positions forming the society of tomorrow? Since we cannot wait for 15 years for an evaluation we have a set of well-defined key performance indicators (KPI:s) that measures progress over time in each action line.
A community build on trust
A unique aspect of EIT ICT Labs is that we are a community that will work together for a long time, concluded Willem Jonker. Matchmaking is an important role for the Technology Transfer Program.
- We can build our activities together based on trust and a different kind of openness than a project that runs for just a couple of years.
- The Research Action Lines are relevant for several thematic areas and should be seen as investing in generating the building stones that the Thematic Action Lines can pick up and build on. The Research Action Line lead by the Stockholm Node is in the area of Cloud Computing (Action Line Leader Seif Haridi KTH/SICS). The Thematic Action Line lead by the Stockholm Node is Future Media and Content Delivery (Action Line leader Henrik Abramowicz, Ericsson).
Engage in the Co-location centres!
The audience of 45 people from the partner organisations in Stockholm - KTH, SICS and Ericsson, affiliated partners, as well as Associated partners in Budapest – to pick and choose from the “smorgasbord” of good things in the Call for Activities. The EIT ICT Labs management finally recommended those who are active in Action Lines to think about how to use the Co-location centres!
Since EIT ICT Labs is very much a virtual organization, the importance of the physical meeting is appreciated. Opportunities and inspiration do arrive in meetings and formal planning processes, but also around the coffee machine and in the lunch room.