Extracts from the participation of José Manuel Barroso at the Global launch of Hiriko driving mobility
On 24 January 2012 in Brussels, José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, and Maria da Graça Carvalho, Member of the EP, participated in the Global launch of Hiriko driving mobility and in the tribute to Diogo Vasconcelos, Director of Internet Business Solutions at Cisco and Portuguese renowned social innovator , who died in July 2011. Maria Elisa and Antonio Vasconcelos, his parents, attended the event.
The President highlighted that Hiriko was much more than just a small, folding and smart electric car. He underlined that Hiriko was European social innovation at its best first because it was a successful example of how to give a new lease of life to traditional industrial sectors by contributing to address major modern societal challenges, in that specific case, urban mobility and pollution. Secondly Hiriko also was a great combination of new business types of cooperation and employment opportunities with a strong social dimension. And thirdly it was an excellent illustration of the finest use that could be made of European social funds. Hiriko was indeed initiated thanks to a European social fund project aiming at stimulating job creation in a disadvantaged area.
The President eventually outlined that the EC would soon launch "European Social innovation prize Competition in memory of Diogo Vasconcelos".