Research, Innovation and Science

The "Innovation Union" – turning ideas into jobs, green growth and social progress

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn
We need an Innovation Union to help get our 23 million unemployed people back to work and keep them there.
We need an Innovation Union to tackle society's biggest challenges: climate change, energy and food security, healthy living and an ageing society.
We need an Innovation Union because Europe does not yet have an innovation culture like the US – and China and India are catching up.


Launch of the Innovation Union, Brussels, 6 October 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good afternoon and thank you for coming.

The Innovation Union is just as much an economic policy as, for example, the eurozone governance framework the Commission proposed last week.

We need a pro-growth, anti-crisis micro-economic environment.

So the Innovation Union is a cornerstone of the Europe 2020 Strategy.

It aims to back innovators all the way - instead of putting barriers in their way.

Not just business innovators but also public service and social innovators, in increasingly crucial areas like the care for the elderly sector, for example. We will also talk to the social partners on how we can boost employee-led innovation.

Here are just two statistics from our memo today.

Business R&D in the EU is 66% lower than the US and 122% lower than Japan, as a share of GDP.

And venture capital funds in Europe were in 2008 at a quarter of the level in the US.

So we face an innovation emergency.