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The European Institute of Innovation and Technology, conceived as Europe's version of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is slowly beginning to take shape, although with little resemblance to the flagship institution that was first envisioned. Instead, the fledgling organization now consists of clusters of institutions, including but not limited to universities, linked by their collaborative work on overarching themes, such as climate change and energy.

In 2006, José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, formally unveiled plans for the establishment of a new institution to foster European innovation and research. The proposal immediately faced skepticism and opposition, especially from academics who questioned the wisdom of diverting money from the European Union's research and education budget toward a new institution. Some critics saw the plan as a misguided pet project of Mr. Barroso, for whom closing the innovation gap between Europe and the United States and key Asian economies through research and development has long been a policy priority.

To read the full, original article click on this link: Europe's Version of MIT Takes Shape, but Not as Once Conceived - International - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Author: Aisha Labi