Innovation in services
While the service sector plays an increasingly important role in the economy, accounting for about 2/3 of employment and Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the share of service firms which innovate is still low when compared to the level of innovation in manufacturing, with the notable exception of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) services. Furthermore, evidence suggests that non-technological innovation plays a very important role in the service sector.
The Commission Communication, " Putting knowledge into practice: A broad based innovation strategy for the EU [80 KB] " identifies innovation in services as a priority area and the Council conclusions of 4 December 2006 invited the Commission to prepare an overall assessment of innovation in services and the need for policy adjustments, also taking into account non-technological innovation.
The resulting Commission Staff Working Document, "Towards a European strategy in support of innovation in services: Challenges and key issues for future actions [938 KB] " analyses the specific patterns of service innovation and identifies the main challenges to the support of innovation in services with a view to fully exploiting their innovative potential and fostering the growth of the service economy in Europe.
The Communication also announced the creation of a pan-European platform to create better links between universities, entrepreneurship and finance so as to foster innovative start-ups in the service sector. The European Innovation Platform for Knowledge Intensive Services (KIS-IP) - has been implemented under Europe INNOVA.