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General Principles

The formation of CCs as regional entities of the KIC and eco-innovation systems is one of the most important lines along which the strategy will be implemented. The output targeted, such as Master‟s and PhD students, scientific articles, patents, spin-offs and start-ups as well as new products and services introduced to the market, will be generated on the regional, and therefore the CC level. Each CC represents in itself a complete innovation chain and enables the relevant stakeholders to work together on a regional and interdisciplinary scale. Moreover, each CC assumes the responsibility to coordinate and advance a set of programmes within which specific actions and innovation projects will be realised (further details are given in chapter 2 on the technology concept). Driving principles of the organisation and management of the CCs are “flexibility” and “competition‟.


Through the decision-making processes implemented at CC level each regional entity can respond to the dynamics and demand of the thematic priorities pursued. In consequence, via this subsidiarity principle it is ensured that the CCs can respond and adapt swiftly and efficiently to the challenges resulting from the energy sector and from disruptive technologies.


In order to ensure competition between the CCs i.e. a „min-max-corridor‟ for the allocation of the EIT grant was defined. With this financial incentive it will be guaranteed that only the most value-adding activities are supported and that funding will be allocated according to the fulfilment of pre-defined key performance indicators (KPI) and benchmarking processes.

Organisation of and interaction between CCs


Each CC will operate a specific yearly business plan which will be aligned with those of other CCs and ImatgeKIC.pngsubsequently integrated into one overall InnoEnergy business plan by the Executive Board (please refer to Part C).This process was already implemented in the proposal phase as the financial planning was elaborated bottom-up. In consequence, each CC is in possession of an individual business plan which will be the basis for further detailed planning. The existing plans also ensure that InnoEnergy will be able to start operations from day one. In line with the general principles stated above the activities of the CCs are strongly interwoven and joint projects and activities of two or more CCs will be the rule. The interaction between the CCs will take place on two levels:


  • Technology and industry-driven innovation projects as well as lighthouse innovation drivers and
  • Best practice and innovation-driven activities such as SME support, international education programmes, innovation network studies, etc. defined within the education and the innovation concept

The integration of the activities stated above will be ensured by

  • Defining activities and tasks upfront within the project definition phase for each project whose implementation will ensure the integration of the innovation, education and technology node
  • The innovation network development unit, the research development unit and the education development unit which will ensure the exchange of lessons learnt and best practices in local innovation measures (such as incubators) and answer for the coordination of interfaces between the nodes of the knowledge triangle


In order to ensure a structured, transparent and output-driven cooperation and innovation process a clear management structure was set up, which is further detailed in part C. An important success factor for the interaction of the CCs is mobility of the stakeholders from research, higher education institutions and industry. Specific tools for people management such as incentive mechanisms and guiding principles were put in place. Hence, all measures implemented under the label of InnoEnergy are transparent and open to participation of all partners. Education programmes are designed in such a way that mobility and exchange are guaranteed. Innovation projects must be interdisciplinary and the participation of InnoEnergy PhD students will be ensured.


Accordingly, a mobility programme has been set up which allows professors, students and professional staff of the involved industry to move to another CC for a defined period of time and to participate in the projects on site and share best practice. Furthermore, an ambassadors programme will provide the framework for selected people to build a bridge to other European or international networks and to feed InnoEnergy with new dynamics, technologies and best practices identified within these networks. The mobility programme and the ambassador programme will be managed at central level. The alignment and coordination of the different activities and related resources are essential. Under the leadership of the CEO, the CC managers will discuss and consolidate the different CC business plans, as stated before, to ensure that the best competences are brought together for each specific activity.

Interaction between the KIC SE and the CCs

In general the activities will be planned and implemented at CC level while the KIC level will be responsible for the coordination of the cooperation between all CCs including the adoption of the yearly CC level business plans and for ensuring the defined criteria for KIC brand activities are met. The CEO will be responsible for the strategy of InnoEnergy as well as for the consolidated business plan and its implementation. Further activities to be implemented at KIC level include:


  • Dissemination and marketing (not exclusively), organisation of central KIC events
  • Managing the KIC‟s relations (networking with stakeholders and membership care)
  • Provision of a central IT platform and services
  • Innovation and education activities which have the character of a central (mainly internal) service such as the innovation network, education and technology development units
  • Provision and management of funds (Business Development Fund, Pre-Seed Fund, etc.)
  • IPR support measures

CCs selected – A Strong Complementary Partnership

The constituting partners of InnoEnergy have agreed on an initial number of six Co-Location Centres (CC) spread over Europe with each of them combining strong interdisciplinary partners from the energy field covering the whole innovation chain. As regards the objective of fostering innovation and entrepreneurship it is important to note that out of 35 partners twelve are from the industry. Furthermore, the industrial partnerships are not limited to the region of origin as several partners will directly collaborate with various CCs and engage directly on KIC level. The six CCs and their local eco-innovation systems are shown in the graph below.