Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Taking innovation to the market: 10 actions to make it happen


Next 25th October will take place in Brussels the seminar: Taking innovation to the market: 10 actions to make it happen, that follows up to the Digital Agenda Assembly workshop 3 -Translating research and innovation into jobs and growth, held in Dublin last 19th June 2013.

Strategically time-framed before the start of Horizon 2020, the seminar is aiming to develop new ideas for overcoming the “valley of death” between research and market. We will be discussing existing innovative and high impact initiatives in order to identify specific bottlenecks of greater impact and propose actionable policy ideas. The ultimate goal is to identify 10 actions to bridge the gap between research and market. Selected initiative cover both innovation in the ICT sector (how to bring new ICT products and services to the market) and innovation through ICT (how ICT can help innovation in other sectors by bringing together complementary ressources, reducing time to market etc.).

The “Valley of death” is a metaphor often used to describe the gap between research and its market application or commercialization. It is well known that European excellence in research is not reflected on the market positioning. Europe is not fast and effective enough to transfer knowledge from universities to companies. For instance, while Europe holds one third of global patents on Key Enabling Technologies, it holds no manufacturing facilities.

In the recent online discussion in this community and during workshop 3 in Digital Agenda Assembly,  you shed light on crucial ingredients of the innovation process and how can organisations turn ICT research results and innovation into competitiveness and growth in Europe.  Different models of transfer of research and innovation to the market were discussed, including how ICT could help to fill in the gap from research to product manufacturing.

In the preparation for the workshop, we are kicking off the discussion online.  And let us start with a straightforward question:

Which are, in your opinion, effective and inspiring initiatives that succeed to transfer research results into marketable products?

37 users have voted.


David Osimo's picture

In the context of the study, we have identified a set of inspiring practices:

First Tuesday Forum (UK)
Security Challenge (Global)
Yeda (ISR); 
CTA (Es) 
Innovation Alliances (DE)
Knowledge Trasnfer Partnerships (UK)
Clusters Digiteo (FR)
Area (IT)
Nanoelectronics (FR)

Penrose (NL) 
IP Marketplace (DK)
Foundum (ES) 
Catapult (UK)
Emilia-Romagna startup (IT)
WellCome Trust open data hackathon (UK)
Principi attivi (IT)

What do you think? Any other worth mentioning?

13 users have voted.
Bart Hanssens's picture

Nice list, I'd suggest to add the TIS innovation park ( of South Tyrol, Bolzano (Italy)
12 users have voted.
David Osimo's picture

Hi nhanssba - could you tell us why this centre in particular?

14 users have voted.
's picture

Sure, they actively transform innovation into (local) business value, with IMHO interesting projects like Geo BI (, using social media for competitive growth (, renewable energy, "smart" roads / mobility etc

If I recall correctly, TIS shareholders are 75% public sector - 25% chamber of commerce, driven by the need of diversifying the local economy (i.e.: what if tourism dwindles)

They've also organized an "Innovation Festival" ( with presentations on Open Data, Social Innovation, and Green energy.

17 users have voted.
's picture

Foundum is a great way to convert theory into business, as it helps entrepreneurs to find all their needs in their ecosystem (funding, advisors, providers..)

18 users have voted.
Laia Pujol's picture

Sergio, good initiative. Could you share more information? how did it start? which are the main outcomes / impact of Foundum?

15 users have voted.
's picture

A valuable initiative from the incubator of the "Politecnico di Milano" in its third edition:
Many universities offer services of mentoring, incubators, assistance in business planning and training for potential entrepreneurs. Maybe one of the core actions to reduce the gap between research and market is intensifying this kind of activities that could be successfully funded through Public-Private Partnerships.

16 users have voted.