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Commission seeks views on setting up a European Innovation Council

Brussels, 16 February 2016

The European Commission today launched a Call for Ideas on the setting up of a European Innovation Council to support Europe's most promising innovators.

The Call for Ideas seeks 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.

Positive steps have been taken in recent years to integrate innovation into EU programmes and policies, in particular Horizon 2020. However, the array of support mechanisms can be difficult to navigate, lack the agility and responsiveness that disruptive innovation requires, and may not follow through sufficiently for innovations to reach global markets.

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation said: "Europe has excellent science, but we lack disruptive market-creating innovation. This is what is needed to turn our best ideas into innovative products and services that provide growth and jobs. I want to test the idea of creating a European Innovation Council, which could replicate for entrepreneurs what the European Research Council is doing for Europe's best researchers. Therefore I am launching a Call for Ideas so Europe's innovation community can tell us what they think an EIC could improve."

Commissioner Moedas made his announcement at the Science|Business Annual Conference in Brussels. Taking part in a question and answer session, he said that Europe had many strengths in innovation and was home to many world-class innovation hotspots. However, while the number of start-ups created in Europe is on a par with competitors such as the United States, Europe lags behind in disruptive innovation and in scaling up start-ups into world-beating businesses. A European Innovation Council could contribute to solving this problem.

Background

Before it tables specific proposals for a European Innovation Council, most likely in the context of the mid-term review of the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, the Commission is seeking the views of stakeholders, including via the online Call for Ideas that will remain open until 29 April 2016. The results of the Call for Ideas will be published by June 2016 and feed into future initiatives that the Commission may take.

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