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European Education Area

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European Network of Innovative Higher Education Institutions (ENIHEI)

This network of higher education institutions develops collective innovative thinking on how higher education can drive innovation. It was first announced at the first European Education and Innovation Summit in June 2022.
A whiteboard poster made at a roundtable meeting on education and innovation

Image description

The above image is a doodle created during the June 2022 roundtable on education and innovation at the first European Education and Innovation Summit. It shows the interlinking of universities, regions and the private sector throughout Europe.

This includes how universities need to link with innovation sectors, how regions form ecosystems of living labs, universities and innovation centres, how students challenge their institutions to make more partnerships and studies, and how the private sector sorts skills and works with universities.

What the ENIHEI does

Members of the European Network of Higher Education Institutions (ENIHEI) make up a forum to exchange knowledge, ideas and experiences on how higher education can promote an innovation culture, and enable creativity, entrepreneurship and talent. 

Its role is to

  • support the European higher education system to be up to the challenge of establishing Europe as a global leader in the next wave of innovation
  • develop ideas and offer recommendations on how to advance the innovation relevant actions
    • in the European strategy for universities (living labs, student incubators, sustainable and attractive careers, Erasmus+ traineeships, green villages, Women in STEAM Manifesto and more) 
    • under the "talent" pillar of the New European Innovation Agenda (especially the initiative to foster, attract and retain deep tech talents)
  • produce a recommendations report to be presented at the Education Summit in December 2022, which will serve as a foundation for further work by the European Commission, EU Member States and other parties


The network has currently 38 members:

  • 28 members appointed by Member States
  • 10 higher education institutions nominated by the European Commission
Table listing the 38 members
Country Institution


The University of Applied Arts Vienna


University of Mons

UCLL University of Applied Sciences


Trakia University of Stara Zagora

Technical University of Gabrovo

Technical University of Sofia


Zagreb University of Applied Sciences


University of Cyprus


University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice 


University College South Denmark

Technical University of Denmark


Tallinn University


Kajaani University of Applied Sciences

Aalto University


University of Caen


RWTH Aachen University

Technical University of Munich


Democritus University of Thrace


Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design


Dublin City University

Trinity College Dublin


University of Brescia

Ca' Foscari University of Venice


Riga Technical University


Vilnius TECH University


University of Luxembourg


Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology


Erasmus University Rotterdam

Delft University of Technology


Warsaw University


University of Aveiro


Transilvania University of Brasov

Technical University Cluj Napoca


Technical University of Kosice


University of Primorska


University of Granada

University of Salamanca (network secretariat)


Malmö University

Why the network was established

Mariya Gabriel, former European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, announced the network at the first European Education and Innovation Summit:

We want Europe to possess the necessary talent pool to lead the next wave of deep tech innovation. To achieve this goal, we need to operate at elementary, secondary and university level.

The Network should come together to share ideas and learn from each other, mobilising the higher education sector and being the tip of the spear as we implement the European strategy for universities and the New European Innovation Agenda.

Higher education institutions have a unique position at the crossroads of education, research, innovation. They serve society and the economy, and play a critical role in achieving the European Education Area and the European Research Area, alongside the European Higher Education Area.

Work of the network

Meeting in Salamanca, September 2022

The network met in-person for the first time on 5-6 September 2022 in Salamanca, Spain.

Watch the video recordings of all panel presentations on the network's YouTube channel.

Education Summit, 1 December 2022

ENIHEI Report: Ten recommendations and one note on innovation in European Higher Education