EIT Urban Mobility RIS Hub Network highlights 

On 17-18 April, around 30 members of our Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS) Hub network from 11 countries gathered for the two-day EIT Urban Mobility RIS Hub Summit, held at the EIT Community Hub in Budapest. During the event, we had the opportunity to engage with our RIS Hub representatives, present new strategies and discuss educational collaboration, innovation calls and impact ventures support in RIS countries. The summit was also an excellent agora to showcase some key figures.  

During 2023, our RIS Hub network scouted and supported local innovators in 11 RIS countries, and brought us the following outcomes: 

From the data above, it’s significant the impact that the RIS network can achieve on the ground, especially when training students and supporting entrepreneurs. In the startup field, it’s worth mentioning that 2 out of the 9 startups that were supported by the RIS Hubs and finished EIT Urban Mobility Impact Ventures programmes, were invested by the EIT Urban Mobility Investment Readiness Programme (IRP). : Greenroads and Cautcurier.ro. Also, 8 new startups were created thanks to the support of our RIS Hub community.  

From the education side, many locally implemented training courses by the RIS Hubs are successfully being scaled-up and implemented in other European countries. An example can be the REAL Mayor programme run by RIS Hub Croatia, which is now further developed as a REAL RIS project in collaboration with RIS Hub Latvia and aims at closing the knowledge gap among high-level city officers and Mayors, hindering the development of sustainable urban mobility systems and liveable urban spaces in RIS countries. 

Moreover, RIS hubs were instrumental in assisting partners from their local systems to participate in Innovation programmes. This includes three challenges for the Raptor 2023 call from the cities Ajka and Debrecen from Hungary and Dubnica nad Vahom from Slovakia; four startups selected in the Agile projects; and six projects funded through the Main Innovation Call and Targeted Call. 

These highlight results show the great value that the RIS Hub organisations bring to the EIT Urban Mobility community, as well as play a valuable role in our commitment to connect local, national and European ecosystems to seed innovations and accelerate the transition to decarbonised and sustainable urban mobility.  

Continuity of the RIS network in 2025 

 In 2022, the EIT set the EIT RIS Hubs Minimum Standards and Guiding Principles to serve as a common strategic approach, as well as the framework  for the gradual launch of EIT Community RIS Hubs covering RIS eligible countries and territories by the end of 2025. 

The new EIT Community RIS Hubs are a one-stop shop serving all KICs for local stakeholders in the countries in which they are established. The process of integrating and consolidating the EIT Community’s unique on-ground presence in the EIT RIS-eligible area will make it easier for stakeholders to access our opportunities locally and in a more centralized and unified structure.  

Our existing EIT Urban Mobility RIS Hub entities will be gradually integrated within the new EIT Community RIS Hubs when these are established and will become mobility specialist members of their country’s EIT Community RIS Hub. The selection of the RIS specialists for urban mobility will be done through an open call this summer, although the functions of our network will remain feeders to our programmes and partnership. To learn more about the EIT Community RIS Hubs, check the new website.

EIT Urban Mobility RIS team together with our RIS Hub representatives in Budapest, April 2024.

An Ukranian affordable electric enterprise truck manufacturer wins the EIT Jumpstarter urban mobility prize 

Athens is one of the oldest cities in the world, the cradle of history, democracy and arts. The Greek capital is also the heart of the ancient agora, former marketplace, the open spot where all the citizens gathered to trade, discuss and vote.  

This is exactly what over a hundred innovators did the past 30 November in Athens during the EIT Jumpstarter Grand Final, the annual EIT Community celebration of new start-ups created and the birth of innovations made in Europe. The participants, from countries located in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe, including Western Balkans, the Baltics and Ukraine, showcased their deep-tech innovations. This year 52 teams presented their ideas in nine categories – digital, food, health, energy, manufacturing, raw materials, urban mobility, New European Bauhaus and Rebuild Ukraine.  

Iliana Ivanova, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said:

The EIT Jumpstarter acceleration programme has been helping early-stage innovators develop their business ideas and launch new products on the market. I warmly congratulate all winners on their award, but also all participants. Your ideas will help us build a better, greener future. It’s particularly heartening to see the remarkable commitment of many innovators from Ukraine. The increasing engagement from the Western Balkans is also encouraging, as it aligns with our aim to bolster and unify the European innovation ecosystem.

The first winner in the Urban Mobility Category is MegoElectric from Ukraine, a solution for the production of affordable light and medium-sized electric enterprise trucks, that received an award of €10,000. Their main innovation is that their platform can be built on one assembly line, while accommodating batteries of different power, various cabs, body types and payload capacities. The platform’s re-thought design will allow the trucks to be very light-weight and energy efficient to achieve minimum price and maximum functionality. 

Another awarded idea comes from MOBILIB, a software-defined vehicle application development platform from Türkiye which won the second Urban Mobility prize. 

The third winner in this category is a wheelset protection to extend the railway axel lifecycle, ideated by RECHARGE, from Spain. 

In the urban mobility field, a total of 23 teams applied for the programme during 2023, whilst 10 made it to the Local Joint Trainings, and finally six teams arrived to the Grand Final in Greece. The other participants were Veloled from the Czech Republic, BPARCO from Croatia and TheBellBoy from Italy. During the 2023 edition of EIT Jumpstarter, 3 companies have been created in the urban mobility field already and more are expected to be registered. 

This year, for the first time, a new category emerged: ‘Rebuild Ukraine’. The top prize went to the Ukrainian team GAPPO. They provide an AgriTech B2B SaaS solution, aligned with Global G.A.P. standards, that aids in digitalising operational reporting and compliance procedures. To learn about the rest of the winners check EIT Jumpstarter’s website.  

EIT Jumpstarter’s mission is to strengthen entrepreneurship culture, support start-up creation, and contribute to building a diverse and inclusive innovation ecosystem with regular cross-thematic and cross-regional collaboration. The programme is powered by seven of EIT’s Knowledge and Innovation Communities: EIT Digital, EIT Food, EIT Health, EIT InnoEnergy, EIT Manufacturing, EIT RawMaterials and EIT Urban Mobility. The programme aims to nurture young innovators with the tools and knowledge to transform their early-stage ideas, secure the necessary funding, and, last but not least, build self-sustaining and profitable ventures. 

Pre-registration for the EIT Jumpstarter 2024 is now available at https://eitjumpstarter.eu/pre-register-for-eit-jumpstater-2024. Participation in the programme comes without any fees.  

Velo-city 2022 in Ljubljana

During the Velo-city conference 2022, that took place from the 14 until the 17 June, Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, was fully garnished with butterflies. Those represented the visual identity of the annual flagship event organised by our partner, the European Cyclist’s Federation, and that symbolises change, development and metamorphosis. Indeed, the Slovenian capital made a drastic shift in the last 10 years regarding cycling.

EIT Urban Mobility was fully present in Velo-city with a booth, that attracted those interested in our programmes and that could learn more about our mission, specially regarding Active Mobility.

During the 3 days event, different conferences brought together those involved in the policy, promotion and the provision of cycling facilities and programmes. Edwin Heesakkers, EIT Urban Mobility Innovation Hub West director, took part of the Focus on citizens, stakeholders and community plenary session on Wednesday. Heesakkers highlighted the importance to engage with youth, women and marginalised groups.

“We’re breaking the silos to make the changes together. Why? Because cities are for you, for us, for the people who live in them. And it is of utmost importance that each of you can have your say in designing the city you will live in” Edwin Heesakkers, EIT UM Innovation Hub West director

On Thursday, Anja Ilenič, EIT Urban Mobility RIS Hub Slovenia representative, took part of the Engaging citizens and building the cycling community session. Ilenič introduced EIT Urban Mobility, some of the RIS Hub Slovenia initiatives, and same as Heessakkers, also stressed the importance of involving the youth in the decision making process. The same morning, EIT Urban Mobility Innovation Lifecycle officer, Manuel Crespo Yáñez, attended the conference The latest innovations from bike-sharing and micromobility, where he presented one of our projects that was also present at Velo-city, Bicification.

“The future of urban mobility is active mobility” Manuel Crespo Yáñez, EIT UM Innovation Lifecycle officer

In order to preach by example, the EIT Urban Mobility team present in Ljubljana took part in the traditional Velo-city Bike Parade, together with hundreds of other enthusiastic bike lovers.

Indeed, the conferences are designed to encourage cycling as part of daily transport and recreation. Velo-city began in 1980 in Bremen (Germany) with deep ties in the founding of the European Cyclists’ Federation. The next world cycling summit will take place in May 2023 in Liepzig. More info here