EU Heads of State and Government have today stressed that the Europe 2020 strategy is Europe's growth strategy and its comprehensive response to the challenges it is facing. One of the targets of Europe 2020, through the Innovation Union flagship is to boost innovation, research and development in Europe. In particular Europe needs to improve its ability to transform good research into innovative products and services that meets market demand. The conclusions of the European Council stress the need for more efforts to complete the European Research Area by 2014, as well as a number of other important advances that are necessary. This memo sets out progress achieved on some key areas of EU action on research and innovation, a vital component of Europe's future competitiveness and growth.