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MIT supports EIT in Sant Cugat/Barcelona

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the entrepreneurial university performing world-class research and top-teaching in Boston, was a source of inspiration for President José Manuel Barroso, when he first proposed a European version of this world-class institution.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the entrepreneurial university performing world-class research and top-teaching in Boston, was a source of inspiration for President José Manuel Barroso, when he first proposed a European version of this world-class institution. Three years later, when the ministers of science and industry this week will nominate the city that will host the headquarters of the new European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), Sant Cugat/Barcelona has received a strong endorsement from MIT. Kenneth Morse, Director of MIT’s Entrepreneurship Center, is endorsing Sant Cugat as the prime location for leading EIT’s operations across Europe. Morse says that the “selection of a world class location would be seen as an outward and visible sign of EIT’s level of interest in global collaboration and leadership.” The MIT Director adds that “Sant Cugat/Barcelona has the universities and business schools and world class labs. The city is part of a network of globally-competitive corporations and medium-sized innovative business enterprises shaping high-tech entrepreneurship.” Morse says that he has consulted with colleagues at Harvard and Stanford Universities before stating that it would be “dramatically easier, more convenient, more appropriate and more exiting to go to Sant Cugat than to any of the other possible locations” of the EIT headquarters. “I like to consider Sant Cugat as a sister city of Boston, since MIT is active in Barcelona. I know at first hand that the city is ready to take a leadership role not only in hosting the EIT headquarters and in supporting its Communities of Knowledge and Innovation (KICs), but also in helping to define, manage and create additional value in its operations.” Starting this year or next, EIT will perform research, deliver higher education and support high-tech innovation through decentralized KICs with nodes across Europe. The EIT board/headquarters will provide overall programs and advise on guidelines, execute major tasks, monitor EIT R&D, education and innovation, and plan for the future. Lluis Recoder, Mayor of Sant Cugat, who officially launched Sant Cugat’s bid for the EIT headquarters in Brussels earlier this month, says that the bid is not a way “to ask for local benefits or to request funding. We are here to offer our assets and the work of our stakeholders, all of whom will continue to work towards the objectives of EIT even if our bid does not succeed.” He adds that Catalonia has one of Europe’s best ecosystems for research, higher education and innovation. EIT could be placed in an environment that is ready to go, the Mayor says. “It is just to Plug and Play.” Among the stakeholders are a number of global companies, conducting research and engineering in Catalonia, as well some of Europe’s best business schools (ESADE and IESE). After two years of preparations in Catalonia and Spain, there are more than 80 stakeholders engaged in the innovation system behind Sant Cugat’s bid for the EIT seat. Sant Cugat is recognized across Europe for its innovative public administration, focused on high-quality services and environmental sustainability.

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