ILCA project

The EIT Climate-KIC project “Innovation Laboratories for Climate Actions – ILCA” (Nr. 220194)  brings together six higher education institution (HEIs) and three research institutes from five different countries under the theme of climate change. 

The project aims to strengthen human capital in climate innovation and entrepreneurship for systemic problem solving. It advances multidisciplinary climate and social innovation capacity by establishing Climate Innovation Laboratories and involves ecosystem actors in the design of Climate Innovation. The preparedness and competitiveness of small- and medium-sized (start-ups, scale-ups) enterprises in climate transition & digitalization is supported.

The vision of the consortium is to become an engine and beneficiary of an integrated ecosystem for systems innovation and entrepreneurship and sustainable competitiveness in the service of the long-term impact on carbon-neutral, digital, circular, and inclusive society.

The project has three objectives:

  • strengthen human capital in climate innovation and entrepreneurship by training and mentoring students, academic and non-academic staff in systemic problem solving;
  • advance multi-disciplinary climate and social innovation capacity by establishing climate innovation laboratories, and involving ecosystem actors in the design of climate innovation projects;
  • support the preparedness and competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in climate transition and digitalisation.

In Phase 1, the project will develop and test a training and mentoring programme with two research institutions as full partners and associate partners from regional ecosystems who are close to the working life.

The other action will be value-flow mapping and engagement of the actors in climate ecosystems by identifying shared purposes and motivations. In this phase, the project will also start developing the climate innovation laboratories. As part of its third objective, the project will run a survey among SMEs to identify their needs and create a portfolio of support services that will be tested.

In Phase 2, each HEI will further develop the training programme according to its subject area. At the end of the project, the consortium will develop ‘climate microcredentials’ that fully comply with the Common Microcredential Framework.

The climate innovation laboratories will develop research-and-innovation (R&I) projects based on pre-defined impact/mission areas for climate actions. Meanwhile, the organisational model (actor’s role, protocols of collaboration and communication channels) of innovation laboratories will be developed and continuously adapted through feedback loops.


The project will have the following outcomes:

Capacity building: At least four HEIs will adopt the ‘climate micro-credentials’ that were developed, tested, and improved during the project.

Ecosystem integration and engagement: At least eight climate and social innovation projects will be developed in at least four different smart-specialisation-based innovation ecosystems.

Regional growth and competitiveness: At least 32 start-ups and scale-ups will improve their capacities for climate transition and digital transformation, as well as their overall competitiveness and growth.

Institutional change: At least one multidisciplinary organisational mechanism and incentive system will be implemented to enable the integrative and systemic nature of HEIs’ education and R&I activities.

Project Results

The project aims to achieve the following results:

  • At least 1472 trained & 144 mentored students and staff members.
  • 5 new Climate Innovation Laboratories.
  • Over 100 stakeholders engaged in the design of 8 Climate Innovation Projects.
  • 32 start-ups/scale-ups supported and minimum 5 integrated as practical cases in each training program.
  • 10 new partnerships established as a result of the project.
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