Europe's achievements in science and technology have been significant and research and development efforts form an integral part of the European economy. Europe has been the home of some of the most prominent researchers in various scientific disciplines, notably physics, mathematics, chemistry and engineering. Scientific research in Europe is supported by industry, by the European universities and by several scientific institutions. The raw output of scientific research from Europe consistently ranks among the world's best.
Although the European Union was only founded in 1958, the tradition of scientific research in Europe is much older and can be traced back to the scientific revolution. Europe is home to some of the world's oldest universities, such as the University of Bologna, although the oldest European universities were, at the time of their foundation, more centered on philosophy, theology and law than on science.
Regulation came into force on 29 April 2008. The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) intends to be a new flagship research university for excellence in higher education, research and innovation. 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. On 18 June 2008, Budapest, Hungary was chosen by the EU nations to host the headquarters of the institute.
The Governing Board of the EIT met on 16 December 2008 in Budapest to designate the first three Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs).