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Industrial innovation

Demand-side policies

NEW – Study "Developing an evaluation and progress methodology to underpin the intervention logic for the Action Plan to boost demand for European Innovations"

On 10 October 2012 the Commission adopted an update of the Industrial Policy flagship initiative – A Stronger European Industry for Growth and Economic Recovery pdf български (bg) czech (cs) dansk (da) Deutsch (de) eesti (et) ελληνικά (el) español (es) Français (fr) Gaeilge (ga) hrvatski (hr) italiano (it) latviešu (lv) lietuvių (lt) magyar (hu) Malti (mt) Nederlands (nl) polski (pl) português (pt) română (ro) slovenčina (sk) slovenščina (sl) suomi (fi) svenska (sv) . This Communication announces the launch of a new Action Plan for boosting demand for European innovations.

This Action Plan consists of three phases: The first phase serves to identify markets, toolboxes and demand-driven models. In the following phase, the Commission with stakeholders will develop strategic roadmaps for demand-side actions in wider initiatives. In a third phase these roadmaps will be implemented. In parallel, a new monitoring system will measure the impact of demand-side policies and the implementation of the strategic roadmaps.

The first phase of this Action Plan was completed in March 2013 and consists of a public consultation and a study prepared by an external contractor titled "Developing an evaluation and progress methodology to underpin the intervention logic of the Action Plan to boost demand for European innovations pdf - 6 MB [6 MB] ".

The study provides, among others, useful advice on how to establish an economic baseline for the launch of demand-side innovation policies and examples for the establishment of strategic roadmaps for demand-side innovation measures.

Demand-side policies for innovation

Europe has a great tradition in investing public and private money in research and innovation by using grants, loans and tax incentives. But, Europe cannot sit back and wait for game changing breakthroughs to emerge from research communities. Public policy should shift up a gear to embrace innovation-friendly market conditions that incentivise demand for innovations.

Demand-side innovation policy tools (for instance health and safety regulations, standardisation, labelling and public procurement of innovations) complement public funding schemes (e.g. grants, loans and tax credits) that are called 'supply-side innovation policy tools', because they lead to an increase in the supply and particularly in the uptake of innovations. The European Innovation Partnerships is an approach that integrates supply and demand-side measures to accelerate innovative solutions to a societal challenge, such as in ageing, in sustainable agriculture and in ensuring the supply of raw materials

Creating effective links between demand-side with supply-side tools will be an issue for the EU, all Member States, and in many cases, also regions. For that reason, the European Commission has launched a public consultation o gather ideas on how to best stimulate the demand for innovations or select sectors where the approach could be applied, further to the ones covered by the Lead-Market Initiative.

Lead Market Initiative

The Lead Market Initiative is the European policy for 6 important sectors that are supported by actions to lower barriers to bring new products or services onto the market.

The European Commission, Member States and industry work together to carry out the action plans for the 6 Lead Markets.

The policy instruments deal with regulation, public procurement, standarisation and supporting activities. The LMI identified the following markets: eHealth, Protective textiles, Sustainable construction, Recycling, Bio-based products and Renewable energies.

Click within the table to find out more about the progress of the action plans in each sector.

Policy tools Standardisation Labelling CertificationLegislationPublic procurementComplementary Actions
Lead Market Area
eHealthEU Recommendation for interoperabilityExchange of best practicesCall for network of procurersEU Patient Smart Open Services pilot founded
Sustainable construction2nd generation EurocodesScreening of national building regulationsNetwork Contracting AuthoritiesUpgrading of skills of construction workers
Protective textilesSME involvement in standardisationTechnical HarmonisationNetwork Contracting Authorities7 research projects selected for funding
Bio-based productsProduct performance standardsInventory of legislation affecting the sectorEncourage Green Public ProcurementAdvisory Group for Bio-based Products
RecyclingCEN Packaging StandardsWaste Framework directiveEncourage Green Public ProcurementEco-innovation observatory
Renewable energiesMinimum energy performance standardsMandatory national targets for 2020Improve knowledge on demand barriersOverview of all programmes and funds


Final evaluation of the Lead Market Initiative

Results of the evaluation

What is a lead market?

A lead market is the market of a product or service in a given geographical area, where the diffusion process of an internationally successful innovation (technological or nontechnological) first took off and is sustained and expanded through a wide range of different services.

A 'lead market' is not necessarily the country or market where the innovation was first developed, or even used for the first time.

The Lead Market Initiative (LMI) for Europe was launched by the European Commission following the EU's 2006 Broad based innovation strategy. The scope of the LMI, the selection of the six markets and the action plans were approved in the Competitiveness Council (mainly composed of the Ministers for European Affairs, Industry and Research from the Member States) of May 2008. Also, at this meeting, Member States expressed their strong interest and commitment to create the right framework to foster lead markets. The 2006 Aho report presented the concept of lead markets. It recommended the development of innovation-friendly markets in a more targeted way by creating conditions to facilitate the translation of technological and non-technological innovation into commercial products and services.

Why are the 6 lead markets chosen?

On the basis of intense stakeholder consultations, six markets have been identified: eHealth, protective textiles, sustainable construction, recycling, bio-based products and renewable energies.

These markets:

  • Are highly innovative;
  • Provide solutions of broader strategic, societal, environmental and economic challenges;
  • Have a strong technological and industrial base in Europe;
  • Depend more than other markets on the creation of favourable framework conditions through public policy measures.

For each market, a plan of actions for the next 3-5 years has been formulated. The European citizens will benefit both from the positive impact on growth and employment (the identified areas could represent three million jobs and 300 billion EUR by 2020) and from the access to enhanced goods and services of high societal value.

More information:

- The 2006 Aho report presented the concept of lead markets.

- Sectoral Innovation Watch: Lead Markets Final Report pdf - 2 MB [2 MB]

LMI time table

Presentations and leaflets about the LMI


LMI pdf - 5 MB [5 MB] български (bg) čeština (cs) dansk (da) Deutsch (de) eesti keel (et) ελληνικά (el) español (es) français (fr) italiano (it) latviešu valoda (lv) lietuvių kalba (lt) magyar (hu) Malti (mt) Nederlands (nl) polski (pl) português (pt) română (ro) slovenčina (sk) slovenščina (sl) suomi (fi) svenska (sv)
Public procurement networks
Waste management in the EU pdf - 870 KB [870 KB]
A wealth of ideas for a greener Europe
Making sustainable consumption and production reality


Open Days 2009 presentations, session 'Lead Markets: how to take regions global':
- ' Cradle to cradle pdf - 732 KB [732 KB] ' by Dr Harma Albering
- ' Lead Era - Innovative regions build on Lead Markets pdf - 220 KB [220 KB] ' by Coralie Bajas-Schaefer
- ' How can regional public procurers work together pdf - 699 KB [699 KB] ' by Mark Hidson
- ' From strategies to services – eHealth as the enabler for cross-border healthcare pdf - 2 MB [2 MB] ' by Fredrik Linden
- ' Lead Markets - how to take regions global pdf - 563 KB [563 KB] ' by Henriette van Eijl

Integrating design into regional innovation policy
Sharing Experience Europe (SEE) Policy Booklet seeks to highlight a series of six priorities, including the Lead Market Initiative approach and public procurement, which are consistently identified as preeminent across innovation policy agendas in Europe. This Policy Booklet is an output of the SEE project, a network of eleven design organisations in Europe. The SEE project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the INTERREG IVC programme.

eHealth. Key conclusions of the LMI mid-term progress report pdf - 756 KB [756 KB] By By Henriette van Eijl (Enterprise and Industry DG, innovation policy) and Mike Palmer (Information Society DG)
November 2009

Presentation on ' Supporting innvoation in lead markets through trans-national networks of procurers pdf - 161 KB [161 KB] '
By Bertrand Wert (Enterprise and Industry DG, innovation policy)
20 May 2009, Oslo.

Presentation: ' Arbeitskreis Bau' on 'Eire Leitmarktinitiative für Europa nachhaltiges Bauen ppt8 - 3 MB [3 MB] Deutsch (de) '
By Peter Dröll (Enterprise and Industry DG, innovation policy)
3 April 2009

Presentation: ' Les marchés porteurs : une initiative pour l’Europe ppt8 - 2 MB [2 MB] '
By Daniel Gassman, Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation
2 April 2009, Annecy

Presentation: ' Stimulating the demand for innovation ppt8 - 2 MB [2 MB] ' at the Futuris Conference in Paris
By Henriette van Eijl (Enterprise and Industry DG, innovation policy)
April 1st 2009 in Paris

Presentation for the House of the Hungarian Regions pdf - 2 MB [2 MB] By Henriette van Eijl (Enterprise and Industry DG, innovation policy), who explained the activities of the LMI to members of chambers of commerce in the House of the Hungarian Regions in Brussels
11 March 2009, Brussels

Presentation for students at the University of Rotterdam ppt8 - 6 MB [6 MB] By Henriette van Eijl (Enterprise and Industry DG, innovation policy), who discussed the future European innovation policy with students of the University of Rotterdam.
27 February 2009, Rotterdam

Presentation: ' Enterprise Europe Network and the LMI ppt8 - 2 MB [2 MB] '
By Henriette van Eijl (Enterprise and Industry DG, innovation policy)
25 November 2008, Brussels

Presentation: ' Innovación y contratación pública en la iniciativa europea de Lead Market ppt8 - 218 KB [218 KB] español (es) '
24 October 2008, Toledo

Presentation on: ' Supporting innovation in lead markets through trans-national networks of procurers ppt8 - 129 KB [129 KB] '
By Keith Sequeira (Enterprise and Industry DG, innovation policy)
29 August 2008

Handout for the Lead Market Initiative and Sustainable construction pdf - 153 KB [153 KB] EBC annual congress, Bucarest
20 June 2008


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