European Innovation Council – call for ideas

The European Commission’s call for ideas on designing a European Innovation Council has received an excellent response: more than 1000 replies and 170 supporting documents were submitted.
European Innovation Council

DG Research launched a public consultation to gather ideas for a European Innovation Council to support Europe's most promising innovators. This call was open from 16 February until 29 April 2016 and the European Commission is now analysing the replies.

The idea of the EIC has been put forward by Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas because Europe lags behind in disruptive innovation, compared with e.g. the United States. The current support mechanisms can be difficult to navigate, and lack the flexibility and responsiveness that disruptive innovation requires. One single Council focused on innovation would solve these issues. The tasks of the EIC were enquired in the call:

  • Bring together, simplify access to and fill in the gaps in current EU innovation support
  • Fill in gaps in current EU innovation support (e.g. more support for disruptive innovation and scale-ups, mentoring, bridging the 'valley of death')
  • Provide strategic advice to improve the innovation environment (e.g. on regulation, policies, practices)

The complete list of position papers can be found on the EC website. Among the replies were also positions of the Alliance for Biomedical Research, European Biopharmaceutical Enterprises, and the UK Royal Academy of Engineering. Over 80% of respondents (strongly) agree that there are gaps in current EU support for innovation. The respondents say there is ground-breaking innovation available in Europe but that Europe lags behind in transforming the science into viable businesses, and give recommendations about the functioning and tasks of the EIC:

  • Access to current EU innovation support could be simplified because the complexity of the policy support mechanisms for research and innovation poses a barrier to businesses, especially SMEs.
  • Innovation support should be both agile and stable because innovation is a dynamic process and innovative businesses need to be able to respond swiftly to technology developments and market opportunities.
  • A close interaction between the EIC and the European Research Council (ERC) could help enable a more seamless transition between the funding agencies for high-quality research with strong commercial potential.
  • Focus on a bottom up strategy that would help the base of the startup community in Europe. Innovation, i.e. making a difference, often differs from established norms. Therefore, it is not possible to impose innovation from the top, and needs a well-coordinated space to grow.

What the EIC will actually do is still looking vague. A reason for this could be the popular theory that Commissioner Moedas accidentally mentioned the need for an innovation Council publically – and now he’s stuck with the idea. What the consultation results show however, is that there is a huge number of groups that would like to see this group become a reality with just as many ideas for what direction it should take.

More information can be found here.


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European Innovation Council

Date: 01/06/2016 | Tag: | News: 481 of 590
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