Innovation policy is about helping companies to perform better and contributing to wider social objectives such as growth, jobs and sustainability.
There are many policy tools available to achieve this, ranging from establishing supportive framework conditions (e.g. human resources, an internal market, intellectual property) to facilitating access to finance, policy benchmarking and enabling collaboration or stimulating demand, for instance, through regulation, standards and public procurement.
The rationale for European innovation policy is strongest where it is oriented toward addressing the most significant challenges facing society today.
The main current European Union's innovation policy is the Innovation Union, Europe 2020 flagship initiative. Its aim is to boost Europe’s research and innovation performance by speeding up the process from ideas to markets.