Communications Networks, Content and Technology

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Policy

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Policy

Innovation (Unit F.2)

Our vision is to foster an environment conducive to digital innovation and to reinforce the digital element of the H2020 Research and Innovation programme.


To increase digital innovation in Europe by:

  • Making available greater financial resources
  • Helping form partnerships
  • Developing a vouchers scheme to support regional competitiveness
  • Assisting innovative companies wanting to scale up
  • Supporting demand side policy
  • Supporting the multi-stakeholder platform
  • Coordinating standardisation activities
  • Drafting guidelines for using standards in public procurement

European growth is sluggish and needs the boost of digital technologies across all sectors[1]. European companies are challenged in sectors they formerly dominated (eg mobile telephony) but are not making inroads into new markets (eg web applications) where the major innovators and world leaders tend to come from the USA. The few EU companies successful in the digital world leadership have later been acquired or have moved to the US.To counter these weaknesses, the Commission will:

  • improve the entrepreneurial culture and eliminate the barriers to creation of digital businesses;
  • foster innovation by new and old digital companies across all sectors;
  • eliminate obstacles to growth by digital firms, so that they can become global players;
  • foster better standards in Europe and encourage their use in public procurement and policy making in a way that avoids lock-in and extends the number and quality of bidders.

 [1] See SWD ICT Sector and RDI at 

H2020 legal base, Digital Agenda (including action 21 and 23), Innovation union, Regulation 1025, Communication “Research and Innovation as sources of renewed growth”


Full-Time Equivalent: 
7.50 full-time equivalent (FTE)
Collaboration with other DGs or agencies:

Administrative and operational budget will cover:

  • Activities in support of entrepreneurship
  • Activities in support of access to finance
  • Improve access to finance for digital SMEs
  • Activities in support of demand side policies
  • Coordination of Standardisation activities including studies and training
  • Organisation and running of the Multi-stakeholder Platform
  • Support for sharing of best practices on how to diminish lock-in using standards.

Communication campaign in support of ICT entrepreneurship



Number of countries reached through the campaign

Italian Presidency Conference on Innovating procurement



External participation in the conference

Multi-Stakeholder Platform (MSP) to identify technical specifications to be used in public procurment



Number of MSP meetings per year

Target 3

Strategic roadmaps and contribution to Rolling Plan for ICT Standardisation



Usage of website dedicated to standardization activities

Participation in ITU and ETI meetings on IPR and SEP

Target 3

Number of meetings of Standardisation working group per year

Target 6

Workshop in Thessaloniki, Greece on Digital Innovation for Regional Growth



External participation in the workshop

Workshop on vouchers during Committee of Regions Open Day



External participation in the workshop


Growth of ICT companies

The desired impact will be creation and growth of ICT companies which positively influences jobs creation and economic growth.With respect to standardisation policy, the desired impact will be better coordination and collaboration between SDOs in Euope; referencing of more standards in public procurement in order to avoid proprietary solutions and lock in. Better coordination and improved standardization activities in DG Connect.



Number and % of new EU ICT companies created in the last year

Target 1% increase in the number of (high growth) ICT companies in the EU. (2016)
Baseline 2014 value for these indicators (2012 or 2013 data).

Number and % of high growth ICT companies in EU and their employment (lead indicator)

Target 1% increase in the number of high growth ICT companies in the EU (2016)
Baseline 2014 value for these indicators (2012 data) (2015)

Eurostat source baseline data is based on number of active ICT companies in 2012 with more than 10 employees.

Chart URL See the chart

Survival rate of (high growth) ICT companies after 3 years

Target 1% increeasein survical rate of ICT SMEs (2016)
Baseline 2014 value for these indicators (2012 or 2013 data)

Number of identified technical specifications (TS) that can be used in public procurement

Target At least 4 TS per year

Link to DG CONNECT's Top Level Targets

  • H2020 - By 2020, one third of all Europe's ICT business investment in ICT R&D in the EU should come from companies created within the last two decades