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At the end of 2005, the European Commission launched a consultation procedure to actively explore how to best take the general idea of a European Institute of Technology (EIT) forward. Many interested parties have since contributed their opinions and thoughts to the public debate, and with this paper RAND Europe joins in. The aim of this RAND Europe paper is to further deepen the debate and to provide initial insights into the structure and approach to be chosen in setting up an EIT. This paper does not aim to answer the question of whether the EIT is desirable in the first place. It takes the EIT as a given and focuses on how best to accomplish the wider objective of the EIT: to raise the competitiveness of the European Union through scientific and technological excellence. European universities are compared with top institutes of technology to determine the differentiating and key success factors that result in excellence in research and education. Based on this, the guiding principles and core features of the EIT are formulated, potential forms are developed, and risks and alternatives are discussed.

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