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Research and innovation

About the Flagship

Innovation depends on the successful nurture, attraction and retention of talented individuals and a diverse array of skills. High quality education and attractive working conditions are thus key to attracting and ensuring a flow of highly skilled and talented individuals that can contribute to achieving wider policy priorities including the twin transition and a competitive edge in strategic value chains. In the light of the adopted New European Innovation Agenda, actions have been established to ensure European retain and attract talent from across Europe and beyond.

Deep tech talent initiative


End of the Action

The European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT) is implementing The Deep Tech Talent Initiative by skilling one million people in deep tech fields over the next three years. This pioneering talent development initiative will secure the future of Europe’s competitiveness and address the most pressing global challenges by promoting cutting-edge technologies and a sustainable entrepreneurship and innovation culture in education and training. 

Relevant links

The pledge

Innovation Internship Scheme

Q3 2023

Evaluation and announcement of results

Q1 2024

Start of the scheme

The European Innovation Council (EIC) will launch the Next Generation Innovation Talents Scheme in the first quarter of 2024. The Scheme will offer over 600 internships in EIC and EIT supported companies to researchers and aspiring innovators from various Horizon Europe funded programmes. It will allow to the participating companies and interns to benefit from each other’s knowledge and experience thus boosting further the research and innovation potential of the EU. The scheme will be implemented in collaboration with the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and its Knowledge and Innovation Communities, the European Research Council, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions and the Horizon Europe Research Infrastructure programme.

Digital Europe programme

March 2023

Publication of Digital Work programme 2023-24

Autumn 2023

Publication of call

The European Commission will continue to provide training support to Higher Education Institutes (HEIs), including European Universities Alliances, businesses and research and innovation centres through the Digital Europe programme. This will include the training of specialists in fields such as data science, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and microelectronics to support the future deployment of such technologies across all economic sectors.

Relevant links

The digital Europe programme

Launch Innovation Talent Platform

21 March 2023

Launch of the first phase of the Platform

Q3 2023

Launch of the second phase of the Platform

Q1 2024

Implementation phase

In partnership with interested Member States and stakeholders, European Commission will design an EU-wide Innovation Talent Platform, a matching tool to help European businesses, including startups, to find the talents that they are not able to find in the European labour market. This will increase the mobility of skilled individuals towards and within Europe through international recruitment and by supporting matchmaking between EU-based employers and qualified nationals of non-EU countries wishing to work and move legally to the EU.

Stock options

7 December 2022

Endorsement of the Working Group by the EIC Forum Plenary

28 March 2023

Kick off meeting and launch of the Working Group

March – December 2023

Working Group progress and report

The European Commission has established a working group on employees’ stock options under the EIC Forum to explore approaches to tackle the administrative barriers that currently limit the uptake of employees’ stock options across the EU. The Forum will in the first instance allow the Commission and Member States to exchange information and share best practice with a view to facilitating a coordinated approach across the EU. 

Establish women leading deep-tech innovation

21 February – 17 March 2023
April 2023

Kick-off meeting and launch of the programme

16 June 2023

Awards Ceremony

The EIC Women Leadership Programme is a skills and networking opportunities enhancement initiative for female researchers and entrepreneurs of EIC beneficiaries. It stimulates women to advance in their careers by leading the transition of their research to market, creating their own spin-off or spin-outs, and taking over leading positions in existing companies and helps women entrepreneurs reinforce their leadership role and obtain follow up investments.

The programme consists of joint training sessions, individual personal mentoring and business coaching and networking opportunities. Two cohorts supporting more than 130 participants have been implemented so far. In the last cohort, EIC has partnered with EIT and included a limited number of participants coming from EIT supported companies. The partnership continues for the third cohort, onboarding 50 participants and taking place between April and June 2023. Participants of the last cohort reported 31% total increase of skills.

Establish a peer learning education and innovation practice community

December 2022


Q2 2024

End date

The European Commission, in partnership with the OECD, is establishing a peer learning education and innovation practice community.  To cultivate the competencies needed to drive deep-tech innovation and foster the twin green and digital transition, this Community will contribute to more effective policymaking by spurring innovation in education. Interested stakeholders (education institutions, policy-makers and businesses) will reflect on a holistic approach towards (i) fostering innovation skills and mindsets from an early age, (ii) supporting higher education institutions in integrating innovation in their curriculum and (iii) expanding the role of higher education institutions and adult learning providers in up- and reskilling strategies.

Extending the EIT Girls Go Circular Project to cover all EU Member States

June 2023


By December 2023

26.000 girls trained in 15 countries


End date

The Girls Go Circular Project aims to equip by 2024 40,000 schoolgirls, aged 14-19, across Europe with digital and entrepreneurial skills through an online learning programme about the circular economy. In addition to expanding the project to all EU Member States, innovative learning materials with a focus on deep tech, aligned with the EIT Deep Tech Talent Initiative, will raise girls’ awareness about deep tech subjects.

So far, over 26 000 girls have been trained in 15 countries, including Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia, North Macedonia, Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine.

In 2023, Girls Go Circular will expand to Germany, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Estonia, Ireland, Austria and Luxembourg.

In 2024, all other EU Member States will follow in order to provide these learning opportunities to girls everywhere in the EU.

Erasmus+ Alliances for Innovation

29 November 2022

Call for proposals launched


End date

The Erasmus+ Alliances for Innovation foster Europe’s innovation capacity through cooperation and flow of knowledge among higher education, vocational education and training (both initial and continuous), and the broader socio-economic environment.

From 2023, the Erasmus+ Alliances for Innovation will support the development of entrepreneurial skills with a particular focus on deep tech skills. This will support and complement the development of incubators within HEIs, in close cooperation with the entrepreneurial sector, to help student
entrepreneurs turn their ideas into businesses, as announced in the European strategy for universities.

Relevant links

Erasmus+ programme

Member States and Associated Countries actions supporting the New European Innovation Agenda

At the Competitiveness Council in December 2022, following the adoption of Council Conclusions on New European Innovation Agenda (NEIA), the Commission launched a call to governments to announce actions in support of the NEIA. This announcement was based on the understanding that full support and engagement from the Member States and Associated Countries is needed to ensure the implementation of the NEIA. 

The actions were gathered through the EIC Forum, a group of Member States and Associated Countries' public authorities and bodies in charge of innovation policies and programmes, with the aim of promoting coordination and dialogue on the development of the Union's innovation ecosystem.