Innovation Union, key initiatives
The Innovation Union contains over thirty action points including ground-breaking proposals like the European Innovation Partnerships. For example, the pilot Partnership on active and healthy ageing aims to add an average of two years of healthy life for everyone in Europe
The Innovation Union also introduces the strategic use of public procurement budgets to finance innovation, a comprehensive Innovation Scoreboard based on 25 indicators and a European knowledge market for patents and licensing.
It includes measures to reinforce successful existing initiatives like the Risk Sharing Finance Facility , which has so far levered 15 times the combined Commission and European Investment Bank contribution of over a billion euro.
Click on the image titles below for summaries of the issues addressed in the Innovation Union Plan.
Follow this link for the detailed list of planned initiatives
Strengthening Europe's knowledge base
Research and education nurture innovation. Europe would require at least one million more researchers in the next decade to reach the target of investing 3% of EU GDP on R&D by 2020.
The Innovation Union proposes measures to complete the European Research Area by 2014. This means more coherence between European and national research policies, cutting red tape and removing obstacles to researchers' mobility.
In education, the Commission will support business-academia collaborations to develop new curricula addressing innovation skills gaps. It will also support an independent ranking for universities.
Getting good ideas to market
The Innovation Union proposes to create a genuine single European market for innovation which would attract innovative companies and businesses. To achieve this, several measures are proposed in the fields of patent protection, standardization, public procurement and smart regulation.
The Innovation Union also aims to stimulate private sector investment and proposes among other things to increase European venture capital investments which are currently a quarter of the level in the US.
Maximising regional and social benefits
To avoid an "innovation divide" between the strongest innovating regions and the others, the Commission will assist Member States to use better the remaining part of the €86 billion of structural funds programmed for 2007-2013 for research and innovation projects.
The Innovation Union aims to involve everyone in innovation. This is particularly true in terms of ensuring employees themselves can influence the way businesses and public authorities innovate and also when it comes to social innovation. In 2011, The Commission will launch a major research programme on public sector and social innovation and pilot a European Public Sector Innovation Scoreboard.
Pooling efforts for breakthroughs
European Innovation Partnerships are a new way of bringing together public and private actors at EU, national and regional level to tackle the big challenges we face such as climate change, energy and food security, health and an ageing population. These challenges also represent opportunities for new business and the Partnerships will aim to give the EU a first-mover advantage in these markets.
Europe needs to work better with its international partners. That means that Europe should continue to be open for access to its R&D programmes, while ensuring comparable conditions abroad. That also means the European Union and its Member States should treat scientific cooperation with third countries as an issue of common concern and develop common approaches to protect our interests.
By 2012, agreement should also be reached with international partners on the development of research infrastructures which, given their cost/complexity, can only be developed on a global scale