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Excellent response to call for ideas on European Innovation Council

Brussels, 4 May 2016

More than 1000 replies and 170 supporting documents were submitted in response to the European Commission's call for ideas on a European Innovation Council to support Europe's most promising innovators.

A first analysis shows that over 80% of respondents agree or strongly agree that the lack of disruptive market-creating innovation is an obstacle to growth in Europe. Many commented that although there is a wealth of good ideas and skilled people and many promising start-ups, companies are struggling to scale up.

Over 80% of respondents believe that there are gaps in the EU's support for such disruptive market-creating innovation, and several respondents pointed to the difficulty of navigating the range of innovation funding options available. Asked to identify the issues that a European Innovation Council could address, respondents identified 'filling in gaps for disruptive innovation and scale-ups', 'simplification of access' and 'strategic advice to improve the innovation environment' as priorities to be addressed.

Many stakeholders also called for dedicated support for disruptive innovations and improved access to risk financing, while the idea of a European venture capital fund was mentioned several times. A significant number of respondents emphasised that support should be more joined-up so that companies can find suitable support as they progress along the innovation value chain.

Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, expressed his satisfaction with the response to the consultation: "The excellent response to our call for ideas shows that there is huge interest in Europe's innovation community in the idea of a European Innovation Council, and I would like to thank everyone who has contributed. We are analysing the responses carefully in order to design a European Innovation Council that boosts innovations with the potential to create new markets."

Background

The Call for Ideas on a European Innovation Council was open from 16 February to 29 April 2016 and sought proposals from all interested parties, including innovators who do not usually participate in EU support schemes, on how a European Innovation Council could be designed to improve Europe's capacity to generate and scale up breakthrough innovations. The private and research sectors accounted for 80% of respondents.

Although innovation has been better integrated into EU programmes and policies in recent years, in particular Horizon 2020, the range of support mechanisms can be difficult to navigate, lack the agility and responsiveness that disruptive innovation requires, or may not follow through sufficiently to help innovations reach global markets.

The European Commission is analysing the submissions and will publish a feedback statement in June 2016.

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