Closing the knowledge gap in mobility innovation and entrepreneurship

International Day of Education (24th of January) –

EIT Urban Mobility, an initiative of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union, runs two Master Programmes to address skills gap challenges in the mobility sector. Europe and the EU are seeing substantial investment levels in cities’ economies to improve their mobility schemes and make them more sustainable. With significant development and changes in mobility patterns in the past years, enabled by digital technologies and innovation, new cohorts of trained professionals are a necessity for Europe.

The EIT Urban Mobility Master School offers programmes designed with innovation and entrepreneurship at their core. The programmes focus on tackling urban mobility’s main challenges: sustainable urban mobility, and the use of technology and data science in urban mobility. The double degree master’s programmes bring together leading European universities to provide high-quality education, giving the students a chance to study at two different universities and explore different learning paths. These master-level programmes are provided by Politecnico di Milano, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), Eindhoven University of Technology, Aalto University, Ghent University, and the University of Tartu.

Sustainable Urban Mobility is one of the main challenges facing cities in the EU and a matter of concern for many citizens. Road transport is one of the leading causes of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in urban areas, and the costs of congestion to society are around €270 billion a year.

The aim of the master programmes is to offer students the tools and know-how to explore more innovative solutions to emerging mobility challenges, enabling them to launch their ideas and supporting them with startup creation. EIT Urban Mobility believes that it is vital to invest in education programmes that foster students’ skills and entrepreneurial mindset, in order to equip them to navigate an ever-changing technological environment while tackling complex challenges. With the year 2023 being declared the European Year of Skills, the EU is putting a strong focus on reskilling and matching people’s aspirations and skill sets to the job market. In line with this approach, innovation and entrepreneurship comprise a significant component in the EIT Urban Mobility Master School curricula.

Throughout their studies, students engage with and tackle real-life challenges, and complete a two-week challenge-based Summer School in two different European cities. Students also gain access to the EIT Urban Mobility’s community and benefit from their collaboration with leading industry partners, mainly through internship placements that bridge the academic-praxis gap and help students develop their practical knowledge.

“Our goal is not simply to educate, but to equip; equip with skills, know-how, and connections. These are the tools we need to prepare upcoming generations for an ever-changing future, and we need more innovation, creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit to make tangible change happen” – Martin Vendel, director of EIT Urban Mobility Academy

BACKGROUND

With the European Green Deal, the EU is striving to reduce transport-related greenhouse gas emissions by 90% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels, this is to be delivered by a smart, competitive, safe, accessible and affordable transport system.  More information

Driven by EIT’s commitment to investing in future generations of innovators and entrepreneurs, the EIT Urban Mobility Master Programmes follow the ‘EIT Label’ – a certification of excellence and quality assurance for innovation in education, bringing together business, education and research -the so-called knowledge triangle. The EIT Urban Mobility Master School started in 2020 and has received a growing number of enrolled students from different international and professional backgrounds.

Learn more about the EIT Urban Mobility Master Programmes here.

The 5 European start-ups in electric mobility to keep in mind in 2023

Transport and mobility services are an important part of the EU economy, accounting for at least 5% of total value added and employing approximately 10.5 million people[1].  As transport transitions to climate neutrality, it will continue to be the base of Europe’s economy. EIT Urban Mobility, an initiative of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union, invested in more than 60 start-ups in 2022 alone. By funding solutions with a variety in mobility subsectors, European regions, and team diversity, EIT Urban Mobility accelerates the innovation needed to reach climate neutrality.

As a result, passenger mobility is undergoing major changes and shifts to new paradigms and there is growing concern about the long-term sustainability of major transportation systems, particularly those in cities. Ride hailing (23%), and ridesharing (12%)1 are the most used new mobility services in Europe in 2022, while the electric vehicle market still a much smaller sector, is exploding. The Electric Vehicles market in Europe is projected to grow by 17.05% (2023-2027) resulting in a market volume of US$332.80bn in 2027.

Fredrik Hånell, Impact Ventures Director:Europe leads not only in green and green-digital innovation, but also in innovation overall. To keep this up, EIT Urban Mobility boosted its investments to fund these 60 early-stage start-ups, which not only create a possible financial return but allows for us to also push for a strong focus on team and regional diversity, and environmental and social impact. European start-ups need to consider diversity and impact, to keep ahead of the curve, and defend our worldwide advantage.”

A closer look at 5 start-ups that are making an impact across Europe in electrical mobility: 

Elonroad (Sweden)

  • Elonroad’s disruptive technology is the first electric road with a ground level feeding system tested in an urban environment with a city bus and other vehicles in the city of Lund. Their solution is enabling the reduction of the vehicles batteries size, making electric vehicles more sustainable and accessible and creating the most significant impact in the direct reduction of GHG emissions. 

Circu Li-Ion (Luxembourg)

  • By 2030, the EU will become second in demand for batteries worldwide yet increasing the number of new batteries isn’t a sustainable option. Circu-lion is upcycling batteries for the mobility sector and maximizing the value of each lion cell and consequently reducing the need for new batteries production. Not only does their solution have a positive environmental footprint, but they are also creating a significant impact on the circular economy in the battery industry. 

Waybler (Sweden)

  • Waybler is accelerating the Electric Vehicle adoption and its infrastructure. By having an intelligent load balancing and phase distribution technology, they are directly creating a positive impact in energy savings and efficiency. 

Chainge (Denmark)

  • Chainge is replacing diesel vans with electric cargo bikes in last mile logistics. Due to the decrease on the number of vehicles around the city (no road congestion) and consequently massive reduction of hazardous emissions produced and air pollution, their product has a positive environmental impact. 

Inbalance Grid (Lithuania)

  • Inbalance grid is focusing on electric vehicle charging with the goal of making charging available everywhere. Their cloud balancing solution improves energy efficiency as well as reduces environmental impact of cities in terms of air quality by indirectly contributing to the reduction of GHG emissions. At the same time, their solution promotes the adoption of clean technologies and reduces the material consumption/waste due to extending the grids’ lifetime.

More information about these start-ups, and our other  33 start-ups working on electrical vehicles, and the complete EIT Urban Mobility portfolio can be found: Portfolio – EIT Urban mobility 

In 2022, a staggering 87% of all VC funding in Europe continues to be raised by male-only founding teams, while the proportion of funding raised by women-only teams has dropped to 1%, according to the State of European Tech. Within EIT Urban Mobility’s portfolio, 40% of the total funding is assigned to female-led and co-led start-ups.   

More information 

By focusing on investing in all European regions, EIT Urban Mobility supports innovation to improve urban mobility and the creation of livable cities for all European citizens. Examples of these new geographical investments are Estonia (Lightcode and Fyma), Hungary (M3ter and FolderGo) and Lithuania (Walk15 and Inbalance Gri). In 2022, EIT Urban Mobility also diversified its portfolio with investments in new verticals, e.g. ConTech (Propergate), InsurTech (GoCleer), Hydrogen (Digas) and Water Mobility (Hyke and Zeabuz).  Mioo Cycling solution enables easy access to bicycle repair and maintenance, which creates a positive impact on people’s health and safety. By encouraging active mobility, they are also contributing to a positive environmental impact.  EIT Urban Mobility keeps looking for the most prominent entrepreneurs to disrupt the European mobility industry. The next open call for investments will open in March. Sign up to receive a notification when the call opens.


[1] 2022 New Mobility Patterns in European Cities Task A Final report.pdf (europa.eu)

EIT Urban Mobility and Madrid City Council launch seven new mobility solutions to boost intermodality

  • The EIT Urban Mobility initiative, “Challenge My City”, is to facilitate multimodal urban connectivity, sustainable logistics and cycling and pedestrian safety in Madrid between different sustainable modes of transport.
  • This initiative has attracted an investment of €250,000 in Madrid from EIT Urban Mobility for entrepreneurs from seven pilot projects to implement their solutions for 6 months.
  • Today’s inauguration of the pilot projects was presented by Borja Carabante, Delegate for the Environment and Mobility of Madrid, Lola Ortiz, Director General of Mobility Planning and Infrastructures of the Madrid City Council, and Lluis Puerto, EIT Urban Mobility Market Development Director. 

[En español]

Madrid, 16 January 2023. Today, EIT Urban Mobility, an initiative of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union, and the Madrid City Council, have presented the #ChallengeMyCity programme. At this event, seven innovative urban mobility solutions of the five start-ups have been inaugurated. The main objective of these innovative mobility pilots is to provide Madrid City Council with new ways to facilitate sustainable door-to-door travel through the promotion of intermodality.

During Monday’s presentation, representatives of both organisations visited the first solar-powered charging station for electric scooters and bicycles that facilitates multimodal urban connectivity through sustainable means of transport, implemented by the Sevillian start-up Solum at Chamartín Station.

At EIT Urban Mobility we are truly committed to cities, and we understand that technology is essential to achieve sustainable urban mobility that benefits everyone. Therefore, we must move towards collaboration between city councils, citizens, and companies if we want to achieve this“, says Lluís Puerto, Director of Market Development at EIT Urban Mobility.

Sustainable mobility, the great challenge for cities

Madrid City Council and EIT Urban Mobility have cooperated over the last year through the #ChallengeMyCity programme to deploy up to seven pilots of innovative urban mobility solutions provided by different start-ups and organisations in different parts of the city. Concretely, EIT Urban Mobility experts have worked with technicians from the mobility planning area of the Madrid City Council to determine the mobility challenges facing the city, aligning with the mobility policies approved in the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (PMUS) and the investments made or planned by the City Council. This initiative has attracted an investment of €250,000 in Madrid, by EIT Urban Mobility.

Five start-ups – Vadebike, Solum, SmartPoint, Dashfactor and Vianova – three of them Spanish, and a total of seven projects, have been selected through an open competition at European level whose objective is to implement these services in open mobility environments over the next six months. These projects will collect anonymised data on their use and will analyse the environmental, economic, and social benefits they can bring to each city. The projects are:

  • Vadebike: has installed a secure bicycle parking area in Plaza de Castilla, next to the metro. In this way, it facilitates intermodality between sustainable means of transport such as bicycles and public transport, thus resolving one of the factors that most concerns users, namely the security of their bicycle against theft. The fully digitised car park allows users to safely store both their bicycle and their helmet during the day, encouraging the use of micro-mobility in combination with other sustainable modes of transport at the Plaza Castilla Interchange.
  • SmartPoint: has 10 e-commerce parcel collection points, digitally connecting the delivery logistics chain with end customers, who travel to pick up their products at SmartPoint’s ticket offices. In this way, door-to-door delivery and the associated polluting emissions are avoided.
  • Dashfactory: will install 125 smart cameras on bicycles, equipped with sensors to detect risk situations for cyclists, black spots and bike lanes with more intensive use. All the information generated on a daily basis will be available to the City Council for the detection of points where to reinforce safety or prioritise the construction of cycle lanes. The data generated through this pilot will allow the city to improve road conditions for Madrid’s cyclists and encourage cycling.
  • Vianova: has a digital dashboard through which municipal technicians can visualise anonymised data on the use of shared mobility vehicles, to which a module for analysing pedestrian use of public space has been added, so that pedestrian areas can be improved and conflicts with micro-mobility users can be avoided. This pilot, which has been launched around the new pedestrian area of Puerta del Sol, will allow the City Council to understand the behavioural patterns of pedestrians and micro-mobility users, and thus create and improve new pedestrian areas in Madrid.
  • Solum: has implemented a station with a universal charging system for electric scooters and bicycles, which also provides safe parking for users. The station has a solar floor that provides energy, making it a completely autonomous and sustainable installation. It has been installed at Chamartín Station as part of the project to convert the station into a multi-service hub to facilitate intermodal travel by sustainable means of transport.
  • Car park for shared scooters: also part of the Chamartín multiservice project, a new car park has been created for shared electric scooters. This space has been created through the conversion of a car park for private motor vehicles, and favours multimodality between micro-mobility and public transport.
  • Parking point for electric vehicles: located in the Chamartín multi-service hub, it favours the use of rideshare services and electric vehicles to reach the station, thus promoting sustainable mobility in combination with public transport.

In 2023, four new cities will join the programme. Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain), Braga (Portugal), Larisa (Greece) and Heraklion (Greece) will work with EIT Urban Mobility over the course of a year to implement innovative solutions adapted to their mobility challenges.

The #ChallengeMyCity programme – 2022 edition has implemented 9 innovative solutions from 7 start-ups in 3 European cities: Milan, Toulouse, and Madrid.

Press invitation: Inauguration of the urban mobility pilots of the #ChallengeMyCity Madrid

Madrid, Monday, January 16, 2023. EIT Urban Mobility invites you through the Madrid City Council and EIT Urban Mobility, an initiative of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union, to the presentation of #ChallengeMyCity Madrid.

The objective of the initiative is to facilitate multimodal urban connectivity between different means of sustainable transport and for this purpose seven pilot projects have been selected. EIT Urban Mobility will test for six months to analyze the environmental, economic and social impact of the solutions.

  • Solum: charging station using solar energy for electric scooters and bicycles.
  • Vadebike: safe and digitized parking for bicycles.
  • Dashfactory: detection system for cyclist road safety black spots.
  • SmartPoint: digitized e-commerce parcel collection points.
  • Vianova: monitoring system for coexistence between pedestrians and micromobility.
  • Parking for shared scooters: new parking for shared electric scooters.
  • Parking point for electric vehicles: favors the use of rideshare services and electric vehicles.

The 2022 edition of #ChallengeMyCity has facilitated the implementation of 9 innovative solutions from 7 start-ups in 3 European cities: Milan, Toulouse and Madrid.

Below, you can find the details of the launch event:

  • DATE AND TIME: Monday, January 16, 09:30-11:00
  • PLACE: Hotel Chamartín The One (C/Agustin de Foxa, s/n. 28036. Madrid.)
  • To confirm attendance or with any questions, you can write to media@eiturbanmobility.eu

Launch of EIT Campus: better offer for entrepreneurial education

Link to the press conference: EC AV PORTAL (europa.eu)

Link to the official photos: EC AV PORTAL – launch of the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) Virtual Campus (europa.eu)

Today, The European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) is launching the EIT Campus – bringing together all EIT entrepreneurship education and skill development activities offered by the Institute and its nine Knowledge and Innovation Communities (EIT KICs).

As part of the launch, the EIT is introducing an online platform that will be home to over 250 courses in the thematic areas tackled by the EIT Community. The first courses featured on the platform are in the areas of climate, food, urban mobility and raw materials and support the skills transition for a greener and healthier Europe.  

Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth said: ‘We created the EIT Campus to offer one central entry point for students and professionals willing to expand their knowledge on diverse topics, while keeping an eye on innovation and entrepreneurship. The training offers and opportunities provided by EIT Campus will widen their horizon in domains that are crucial for our future. We want both students and professionals to be best equipped because they belong to the driving forces that will support Europe in its digital and green transitions.’ 

In addition to business creation and acceleration, and innovation projects, entrepreneurship education serves as one of the main pillars of support the EIT Community offers to thousands of innovators across Europe. Over the past decade, the EIT Community has developed a wide range of cutting-edge educational activities based on partnerships between universities, companies, and research centres. Since 2018, the EIT has channelled over EUR 350 million of funding towards entrepreneurship education activities across all EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities powering the next generation of European talents. 

Education activities under the EIT Campus will offer services for the following learners:   

  • Secondary school students through the EIT Girls Go Circular project, which helps young girls develop technological and entrepreneurship skills related to the green and digital transition.
  • University students through the EIT Label, a certificate of quality awarded to outstanding educational programmes focusing on innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity and leadership. Under this label, the EIT, with its network of 200 universities, has developed 65 master and doctoral programmes, which already count over 4,500 graduates.
  • Professional learners through the EIT’s non-degree courses and workshops. To date, over 100,000 learners have participated in these EIT online educational activities. Professional learners will also benefit from the targeted skills development programmes including the new EIT Deep Tech Talent Initiative, set to skill one million talents in deep tech fields, and the European Battery Alliance Academy, working with EU Member States and industry partners to train and upskill 800,000 workers across the entire battery supply chain.
  • Higher Education Institutions (HEI)through the EIT HEI Initiative to support faculties in teaching innovation and entrepreneurship. Currently 50 projects involving over 290 Higher Education Institutions and 300 non-academic organisations are part of the EIT HEI Initiative. In 2021 alone, projects have trained over 9,900 students, academic and non-academic staff and have supported over 310 start-ups and scale-ups.

Most of the school programmes will be accessible free of charge, whereas more professional courses and programmes will carry a fee. The EIT Campus online platform is a joint EIT community activity, coordinated by EIT Urban Mobility.

Learn more about the EIT Campus in a factsheet here 

Nektarios Tavernarakis, Chair of the EIT Governing Board, added: ‘The EIT Campus and its virtual platform is a huge milestone for the EIT Community! We have now put the scale and power of the EIT network, with our 3 400 partners and Knowledge and Innovation Communities, under one roof. Never before has it been easier to join one of our education programmes, and to explore the huge opportunities of support the EIT Community offers. I look forward to seeing the EIT Campus grow, to welcoming new learners to our education activities, and to see the impact that our courses will have in taking innovators to the next level of their journey.’ 

Maria Tsavachidis, CEO of EIT Urban Mobility: “Today, we are very happy to launch the EIT Campus online platform to empower people to successfully navigate labour market changes and to fully participate in a green economy. Through the platform, we will reach a wider audience of learners and professionals to address the skilling, upskilling and reskilling needed across different sectors. No one should be left behind in the transformation towards a green economy.  We will break down academic silos by bringing together courses from different disciplines to train existing and future workforces. The EIT Campus online platform is born today to become the go-to resource for learners and professionals wishing to further their careers in the space of the green economy.” 

The EIT Campus’ online portal is expected to become fully operational in mid-2023, housing over 250 courses and opportunities across the entire EIT ecosystem. As part of its launch phase, the EIT will unveil the online education portfolios of four of its Knowledge and Innovation Communities: EIT Climate-KIC, EIT Food, EIT RawMaterials and EIT Urban Mobility.

Featured courses available now include, among others: Food for Thought: The Relationship Between Food, Gut and Brain; How to Plan a Hackathon: Hacking the Challenges of Digital EducationCircular Economy – Sustainable Materials Management; Reclaiming the Street for Liveable Urban Spaces and many more. To learn more about EIT education services, or to join Europe’s largest innovation community, please click here