EIT Urban Mobility is delighted to join the Start For Future (SFF) Cooperative, recognising it as a significant milestone in fostering long-term collaboration and cooperation among European universities and innovation actors.
Our organisation proudly stands among the 18 prominent founding partners from the existing alliance, which consists of universities, incubators, research organizations, business entities and cities. The inaugural meeting held during the SFF Varna Summit on June 24, 2023, marked a momentous occasion as the Start For Future Cooperative officially became a unified legal entity, set to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of innovation in Europe.
“We believe that volume is required to achieve excellence. Volume is achieved with an inclusive and democratic model, where success benefits the entire network rather than just a select few. A scalable and democratic approach – such as the one taken by the Start for Future Cooperative- is essential for promoting an eco-centric rather than an ego-centric view. As already demonstrated by the organizations involved in SFF, potential for innovation and entrepreneurship is to be found and nurtured in every corner of Europe, leveraging European Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in combination with regional stakeholders.”stated Martin Vendel, Academy Director of EIT KIC Urban Mobility.
What is this cooperative about?
Among the ambitious goals set forth by the cooperative: nurturing 1 million start-ups in Deep Tech, training and mentoring 2 million talents, involving 1,000 universities in Europe and globally, and fostering connections between 3,000 industry partners by 2035. By actively promoting collaboration and knowledge exchange between universities and innovation actors, the SFF Cooperative cultivates an environment that nurtures innovation and entrepreneurship, characterised by openness and democracy.
The cooperative’s unwavering focus on systemic innovation perfectly aligns with EIT Urban Mobility’s broader commitment to address societal challenges and enhance the well-being of European citizens.
This alliance marks an inspiring new chapter in the European innovation and entrepreneurship landscape, where collaboration thrives, paving the way for a brighter and more prosperous future.
Who are the founding members?
- Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece
- Cluj Cluster of Education C-EDU, Romania
- Dundalk Institute of Technology, Ireland
- Edinburgh Napier University, UK
- EIT KIC Urban Mobility, Spain
- EURA AG, Germany
- Foundation for Innovation, Technology, and Transfer of Knowledge, Bosnia & Herzegovina
- HM Hochschule München University of Applied Sciences, Germany
- International Burch University, Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, Croatia
- Queen’s University Belfast, UK
- Start-ups Academy, Greece
- Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship, Germany
- The Edge; Research and Business Development, Bulgaria
- University of Aveiro, Portugal
- University of Information Technology and Management in Rzeszow, Poland
- VIA University College, Denmark
- Municipality of Varna, Bulgaria (Associated Partner)
How did everything started?
In 2020, Start for Future (SFF) – a Pan-European student incubation programme – took its initial steps, fuelled by support and funding coming from the EIT´s HEI initiative and backed by Germany´s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). EIT Urban Mobility has been actively supporting the alliance’s development since then.
Over the past few years, SFF has emerged as one of Europe’s most vibrant and rapidly expanding innovation alliances, bringing together academia, start-ups, industry, and public organizations. Now, it is embarking on its next phase, by formally establishing itself as a European Cooperative Society / Societas Cooperativa Europaea (SCE). With an ambitious vision to boost systemic innovation, the SFF Cooperative is poised to drive transformative advancements that will shape the future of innovation in Europe.