Commission brings in top innovators to advise on a potential European Innovation Council

On 20 January 2017, the Commission announced the creation of a new High Level Group.

The High Level Group is meant to advise the Commission on how to better support breakthrough, market-creating innovation in Horizon 2020 and future research and innovation programmes.

  • The High Level Group of Innovators brings together 15 leading personalities from Europe with a wide range of entrepreneurial and investment expertise in business innovation.
  • Changes that the Commission is considering in some areas of Horizon 2020 include a new "bottom up" approach to support innovation in any area as opposed to predefining topics, a proposal evaluation system that include face to face interviews (and not just paper proposals), and bringing together different instruments so they are simpler to access.
  • The initiative complements other Commission efforts to help innovators stay and grow in Europe, as laid out in the Start-Up and Scale-Up Initiative.
  • The Group will build on the results of a Call for Ideas carried out in 2016 and will feed into the work of the High Level Group on Maximising the Impact of EU Research and Innovation Programmes chaired by Pascal Lamy, which is due to report by June 2017.


  • The Group comprises 15 highly qualified, independent members appointed in their personal capacity selected from 469 candidates who responded to a public call for expressions of interest, with the aim of ensuring high-level professional experience and a good balance in terms of skills, experience, knowledge, geographical diversity, gender and age.
  • The aim of the High Level Group is to advise the Commission on a set of changes to be introduced in Horizon 2020 as a preparatory phase to better boost disruptive and market-creating innovation, and address gaps in the current innovation support landscape. These would include provision of bottom-up support targeting breakthrough innovation projects with the potential for scaling up, in line with the recent Commission Communication "Europe's next leaders: the Start-up and Scale-up Initiative"(COM(2016) 733 final). The budget for actions covered under this preparatory phase amounts to about €2.5 billion. The Group is also meant to make recommendations for the potential remit of a European Innovation Council concept under future EU programmes, to contribute to generating breakthrough innovations that can create and capture new markets.

Next steps

  • The Group will hold its first meeting in March.

More information can be found here

Date: 06/02/2017 | Tag: | News: 560 of 1581
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