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The role of service innovation as a lever for modernising industrial policy

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Kibocsátó:
European Commission.

The Expert Panel on Service Innovation in the EU has presented today, in Rome, its final report "Meeting the Challenge of Europe 2020: the transformative power of service innovation" to the Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for industry and entrepreneurship, Antonio Tajani. This took place during a two-day conference hosted by Confindustria, the Italian employers' federation.

The twenty members of the Expert Panel were commissioned one year ago by DG Enterprise and industry to consider the concrete and specific steps which should be taken at European level to support service innovation in the context of the Europe 2020 Strategy.

In concluding their year of reflection, the Panel emphasises the high potential of service innovation in driving and supporting the structural changes required for Europe’s industry to improve its competitiveness, while addressing the societal challenges of our time (climate change, pressure on resources, ageing population).

Based on their analyses, complemented by a series of case studies, the Panel recommends a better exploitation of the transformative power of service innovation to change the way Europe does business. The way firms develop new products and services, new channels to market, new business processes, new organisational structures and new business models mean markets; and strategic partnerships, are constantly evolving. The traditional distinction between manufacturing and service sectors is blurring to form new industries at the intersections between different sectors. Services are transformative when they disrupt traditional channels to market, business processes and models, to enhance significantly customer experience in a way which impacts upon the value chain as a whole emphasized Allan Mayo, chairman of the Panel.

In his address to the conference, today, Vice-President Tajani, analysing the recent European economic situation, commented: In Europe, 3 out of 4 new jobs are somehow related to services. The crisis has demonstrated that it was wrong to separate manufacturing from services. We should do the opposite, we need a revolution to this end. In this perspective, he welcomed the recommendations presented in the report: the Expert Panel report should serve as a stimulus for our work.

Furthermore, Vice President Tajani referred to the changed relationship between industry, services and service innovation. Space projects like Galileo and GMES are not only about technology, but about better services being developed for Europe. This is a marriage between services and manufacturing. We should also look at services in crucial sectors, like design, which are increasing our competitiveness in other sectors.

The Rome conference marks the start of an awareness-raising campaign that will be organised by DG Enterprise and Industry over the next six months in collaboration with national and regional ministries, innovation agencies and business representatives. It will focus on the Expert Panel’s recommendation that there is a need for a mind-shift towards strengthening the role of service innovation in modernising industrial policy. It will also look at how the Structural Funds can be mobilised to support this process.

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