The regulation establishing the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) came into force on 29 April 2008. The EIT is the EU's flagship education institute designed to assist innovation, research and growth in the European Union (EU).
The initial concept for a European Institute of Technology was based on the example of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and its combination of world class education, research, and deep engagement in effective innovation processes.
In its proposal for an EIT the European Commission put forward a two-level structure which combines both a bottom-up and a top-down approach: a governance structure which is based on a Governing Board (GB) and Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs). As of 21 January 2008, it appears that the project will mainly operate by building networks of pre-existent universities and research institutions, without building any new education or research institution and without granting EU diplomas.