Summit urges Europe to take action on innovation
The 5th European Innovation Summit, hosted by Knowledge4Innovation, a non-profit forum of the European Parliament, has called on Europe’s leaders to ‘wake up’ and take action to make Europe a leading innovation economy. On the final day of the summit, which was held in Brussels earlier this month, a declaration was issued to EU policy makers and Member State Governments listing a number of key actions they should take to overcome barriers to innovation, including the implementation of new policies and instruments from 2014-2020. Read more…
The declaration, ‘5 Calls for Action to wake up Europe’, called for the delivery of ‘widely accepted and appreciated’ new policies and instruments and urged leaders to create a predictable policy environment that would embed innovation as a principle in all measures and decisions. It called for the building of a culture of ‘fail fast’, ‘risk tolerance’ and ‘fast capital’ to cross the so-called ‘valley of death’ where, according to one speaker, all too often the great ideas of European scientists die before they are implemented by industry. The declaration called for joint thinking and action across sectors and the value chain and said that a deep change in mindset was required at all levels – companies, administrations and citizens.
The summit, which was organised in cooperation with prominent innovation stakeholder platforms, was attended by EU Commissioners, Members of the European Parliament, and innovation stakeholders from industry and academia. They were told that the level of innovation potential in Europe was extremely high, but that innovations failed to be brought to the market efficiently because Europe was consistently undermined by notorious overregulation.
The European Commissioner for Environment, Janez Potočnik, called for four actions to promote a circular economy focussed on resource efficiency. He told delegates that Europe needed to build a shared understanding of the eco-innovation challenges and develop shared targets and milestones. Progress towards this vision and targets should be measured and the barriers to innovation should be addressed in a concrete way. The Commissioner said eco-innovations that address systemic problems as a whole, rather than the individual components, would be key to addressing the challenges.
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