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A management tool for comparing performance against an organisation that is widely regarded as outstanding in one or more areas, in order to improve performance.

Business incubation

The provision of services related to the formation and acceleration of the business operations of newly created companies, such as business plan development, facilities management, marketing, legal advise, recuitment, access to finance, mentoring, and internationalisation.

Business model

Conceptualisation of the value proposition that distinguishes a firm from its competitors


Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme


Clusters can be defined as a group of firms, related economic actors, and institutions that are located near each other and have reached a sufficient scale to develop specialised expertise, services, resources, suppliers and skills.


A competitive economy is an economy with a consistently high rate of productivity growth. Competitiveness depends on the performance of the economy's SME-fuelled industry. To be competitive, the EU must outperform its competitors in terms of research and innovation, information and communication technologies, entrepreneurship, competition, education and training. The Lisbon Strategy set out to make Europe the most competitive and dynamic economy in the world: competitiveness is therefore one of the top political priorities of the European Union.

Competitiveness and Innovation framework Programme (CIP)

The CIP brings together several existing EU activities that support competitiveness and innovation for the period 2007-13. The combination of programmes provides synergies like a common toolbox and the synchronisation of calls for proposals. The sub-programmes comprise the "Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme", the "ICT Policy Support Programme" and the "Intelligent Energy Programme".


As defined by the OECD and Eurostat, eco-industries are activities which produce goods and services to measure, prevent, limit, minimize or correct environmental damage to water, air and soil, as well as problems related to waste, noise and eco-systems. This includes technologies, products and services that reduce environmental risk and minimize pollution and resources such as waste and waste water management, renewable energy sources, environmental consulting, air pollution and control, eco-construction.


Eco-innovation refers to products and processes that contribute to sustainable development.


Enterprise Europe Network


European Free Trade Association


European Investment Bank


European Institute of Innovation and Technology


Environmental Technologies Action Plan


European Technology Platform: industry-led stakeholder forum charged with defining research priorities in a broad range of technological areas.


Europe INNOVA is an initiative of Directorate General Enterprise and Industry which aspires to become the laboratory for the development and testing of new tools and instruments in support of innovation with the view to help innovative enterprises innovate faster and better.

It brings together public and private innovation support providers such as innovation agencies, technology transfer offices, business incubators, financing intermediaries, cluster organisations and others.


Information and Communication Technologies

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)

ICTs include any communication device or application, encompassing: radio, television, cellular phones, computer and network hardware and software, satellite systems and so on, as well as the various services and applications associated with them, such as videoconferencing and distance learning.

ICTs are rapidly changing global production, work and business methods and trade and consumption patterns in and between enterprises and consumers. ICT enables a radical change in structures of organisations and means of learning, researching, developing, producing, marketing, distributing and servicing digital and traditional goods and services. It also has a great potential to enhance the quality of life.


An innovation is the implementation of a new or significantly improved product (good or service), or process, a new marketing method, or a new organisational method in business practices, workplace organisation or external relation. The minimum requirement for an innovation is that the product, process, marketing method or organisational method must be new (or significantly improved) to the firm.

Innovation activities

All scientific, technological, organisational, financial and commercial steps which actually, or are intended to, lead to the implementation of innovations. Some innovation activities are themselves innovative, others are not novel activities but are necessary for the implementation of innovations. Innovation activities also include Research and Development that is not directly related to the development of a specific innovation.

Innovation Management

The concept of innovation management encompasses an integrated approach to managing all dimensions of innovation, from innovation in products, services and business processes to organisational and business models, through continuous monitoring, development and improvement processes.

Intellectual Property (IP)

Intellectual property (IP) refers to intangible assets resulting from the creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce.

Intellectual property can be protected by formal or informal methods. Formal protection consists in granting to the owners exclusive Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) under intellectual property law. Informal protection consists in methods like secrecy, confidentiality, defensive publishing, fast innovation cycle etc

Intellectual property rights are divided into two categories: industrial property, which includes inventions, trademarks, industrial design, and geographical indications of source; and copyright, which includes literary and artistic works such as novels, films, musical works, paintings, photographs, and


Intellectual Property Rights


Innovating Regions in Europe Network


Joint Action to Support Micro-finance Institutions in Europe


Joint Assistance to Support Projects in European RegionS


Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises initiative


Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas

Joint Technology Initiatives (JTI)

Joint Technology Initiatives are a major new element of the EU's 7th Research Framework Programme. They provide a way of creating new partnerships between publicly and privately-funded organisations involved in research, focussing on areas where research and technological development can contribute to European competitiveness and quality of life.


Joint Technology Initiatives


European Innovation Platform for Knowledge Intensive Services

Knowledge Intensive Services

Knowledge intensive services can be defined as economic activities conducted by private sector organisations that combine technology, knowledge (such as Research and Development) and highly skilled employees to provide a service to the market

Knowledge transfer

Knowledge Transfer involves the processes for capturing, collecting and sharing explicit and tacit knowledge, including skills and competence. It includes both commercial and non-commercial activities such as research collaborations, consultancy, licensing, spin-off creation, researcher mobility, publication, etc. While the emphasis is on scientific and technological knowledge other forms such as technology-enabled business processes are also concerned.

Knowledge triangle

It is based on the interaction between three components: innovation, research and education. The knowledge triangle is meant to boost growth, competitiveness and sustainable development. At the heart of the Lisbon Strategy, the knowledge triangle is also central to the establishment of the European Institute of Technology.

Lisbon Strategy

The Lisbon Strategy is aimed at making the European Union (EU) the most competitive economy in the world, and achieving full employment by 2010. European industry needs to be competitive if the EU is to achieve its economic, social and environmental goals, and thus ensure an improving quality of life for its citizens. To be competitive, the EU must outperform in terms of research and innovation, information and communication technologies, entrepreneurship, competition, education and training.


Lead Market Initiative

National innovation system

The set of public and private actors involved in the exploitation and commercialisation of new knowledge originating from the science and technology base and the interactions in between them

Non-technological innovation

Many innovations are of a non-technological nature, for example in areas such as marketing, organisation, management and design. They are not primarily driven by a technological invention or improvement, and hence referred to as non-technological innovations. The term is not unproblematic, however, as technology (for example information and communication technology) is used as an enabler to support most of today's innovations, even when technology is not the main focus or driver of the innovation.


Organisation of Ecomonic Cooperation and Development

Open Innovation

The emerging paradigm for innovation, involving business models that use partnering, licensing and venturing to combine internal and external sources of ideas and technologies

Open Science

The traditional paradigm of research between scientists worldwide based on the free collaboration and rapid public disclosure of results with no restrictions on use other than acknowledging the source.

Process management

Process management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, techniques and systems to define and improve processes, in order to meet customer requirements profitably.

PRO INNO Europe ®

PRO INNO Europe ® is an initiative of Directorate General Enterprise and Industry which aims to become the focal point for innovation policy analysis, learning and development in Europe, with the view to learning from the best and contributing to the development of new and better innovation policies in Europe.

Public procurement

Public procurement refers to contracts covering supplies, services and works purchased by the public sector. Public procurement is subject to EU and international rules, although not all public procurement is subject to these obligations. Under these rules public sector procurement must follow transparent open procedures, ensuring fair conditions of competition for suppliers.

Research Framework Programme (7th)

Covering the 7-year-period 2007-2013, the Seventh framework programme for research and technological development (FP7), is designed as a key contribution to the EU's strategy for growth and jobs. FP7 responds to the needs of industry and of European policies, placing innovation and knowledge at the centre of economic, social and environmental progress. FP7 is organized into four main specific programmes, corresponding to four major objectives of European research policy: cooperation, ideas, people and capacities. In addition, the FP7 includes specific programmes for the Joint Research Centre and under the Euratom Treaties.

Resource management

Resource management is the effective deployment for an organisation's resources when they are needed. Such resources may include financial resources, inventory, human skills, production resources, or information technology.


Regional Innovation Strategy

Service Innovation

A service is defined in the Oslo manual in the manner that "a key element of services is that the distinction between products and processes is often blurred, with production and consumption occurring simultaneously. Development of processes can be more informal for services than for goods, with an initial phase consisting of search, idea gathering and commercial evaluation, followed by implementation."

The terms service industry(ies) or service sector(s) are generally used to refer to economic activities covered by Sections G to K and M to O of the OECD's classification system NACE Rev. 1, and the units that carry out those activities.

The Oslo manual defines innovation in services as "Innovation activity in services tends to be a continuous process, consisting of a series of incremental changes in products and processes. This may occasionally complicate the identification of innovations in services in terms of single events, i.e. as the implementation of a significant change in products, processes or other methods."

In DG Enterprise and Industry the term service innovation refers mainly to innovation in the service sector provided by service entrepreneurs or service companies. It may refer also to innovation in service activities in all sectors including manufacturing in specific cases where it will then be noted. Measuring service innovation usually refers to the measuring of innovation in the service sector. The NACE classification of the service sector is used for this purpose (see above).


Sectoral Innovation Watch


According to Article 2 of the Annex to Recommendation 2003/361/EC, the category of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is made up of enterprises which employ fewer than 250 persons and which have an annual turnover not exceeding €50 million, and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding €43 million (see: SME definition). SMEs are the backbone of the EU economy - they represent 99% of all enterprises in the EU. Some 23 million SMEs provide around 75 million jobs.


Small and Medium-sized Enterprises


Standardisation is the process through which the EU aims to establish high quality criteria throughout its member countries. It is based on consensus among the various partners involved - industry, consumers and public authorities. Interoperability, i.e. the technical compatibility of complementary products, services and processes is the desired outcome. The process also involves setting up test methods and requirements for safety, health, organisational and environmental performance.

Standardisation allows SMEs to stay up to date with technology and business practices. It is a symbol of quality, recognised by customers. It is also a means of capitalising on European leadership in new markets.


Staff Working Document

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