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Lead market initiative set to unlock global markets

25/07/2008

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Sustainable construction, recycling and renewable energy are three of six key lead markets proposed by the Commission to unlock global potential for innovative goods and services.

The Commission’s lead market initiative (LMI) is intended to open up innovative markets by improving legislation, encouraging public procurement and developing interoperable standards. European enterprises would profit from fairer and better chances of entering new fast growing world markets with a competitive advantage as lead producers. LMI would also rapidly bring visible welfare advantage for Europe’s consumers.

 "Europe must develop innovation friendly markets in a more targeted way, creating conditions to facilitate the marketing of innovative products and services,” says Commission Vice President Günter Verheugen. “The lead market initiative has identified promising emerging markets in which the EU has the potential to become world leader and where coordinated action is urgently needed.”

Together with eHealth, protective textiles and bio-based products, these important markets have high economic and societal value, with an annual turnover of more than €120 billion and providing 1.9 million jobs in the EU. LMI foresees an increase to over €300 billion with more than three million jobs by 2020.

LMI is part of the EU’s broad-based innovation strategy that highlights the need for a more coherent use of all available policy tools and instruments to support innovation in Europe. Involvement of Member States with active participation from businesses and other private stakeholders will be crucial to the success of the initiative.

The initiative is focused on a competitive, demand-driven approach to enable these emerging markets to build on new and existing technologies available in Europe. There is strong market potential within a rather short time span in all the selected areas. This could improve economic benefits particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – the dominant drivers of innovation.

More information on LMI may be found at:

http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/leadmarket/leadmarket.htm