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The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) took center stage at the Shanghai Expo. Held in the EU-Belgium pavilion on 31 August, the day focusing on the EIT attracted public authorities, representatives from Chinese institutions of higher learning, research centers, companies and bodies from the science and technology arenas to discuss the importance of innovation in the knowledge economy.

The EIT is one of the European Union’s flagship initiatives. Vice-president Anders Flodström stressed the institute’s clear international vocation: “We want to be world-class in innovation and we can’t do that if we just look inwards”.

Jan Truszczynski, director general for Education and Culture at the European Commission, explained that the EIT is the first European initiative to fully integrate stakeholders from innovation, research and education. “With the EIT’s Knowledge and Innovation Communities we want to be pioneers for changing the innovation landscape in Europe. The KICs will be hubs of innovation with attractive conditions for working, studying and doing business”.

Debates focused on the role of innovation in the knowledge society and how innovation can be better promoted, as well as the exchange of best practices between Europe and China in areas where the EIT currently operates: climate change, sustainable energy and the information and communication society.

Catalonia, through the Biocat's Unit of Strategic Projects, is preparing a bid to participate actively in the EIT’s new health/life sciences KIC, which is scheduled to be selected next year. This initiative is supported by the Spanish and Catalan administrations (through Ciemat-MICINN).

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