Knowledge4Innovation (k4I) organised the 4th European Innovation Summit on 9 and 10 October. The summit brought together 500 stakeholders in a series of heated debates on how to improve the innovation eco-system in Europe.
Participants largely agreed that, given their potential as a major driver of jobs and growth, the relevant EU policies and programmes in support of innovation ought to be revised. In order to better achieve this objective, it is crucial that all efforts, from the European to the local levels, are aligned. It is no surprise that, to a large extent, the discussions related to Horizon2020, the new Cohesion Policy Framework, the Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs (COSME) and the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), which are currently under debate in the European Parliament.
Members of the European Parliament, who are dealing with innovation-related Commission proposals, contributed to the debate, including Lambert van Nistelrooij, Chair of the K4I Forum of the European Parliament and key rapporteur for the Cohesion Policy 2014-2020 as well as co-negotiator for Horizon 2020, Ioannis Tsoukalas, shadow rapporteur for the regulation establishing the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT), Maria Da Graça Carvalho, rapporteur for the Specific Programme Implementing Horizon2020, Christian Ehler, rapporteur for Horizon2020 Rules for Participation, Kent Johansson, shadow rapporteur for Horizon2020, Ivailo Kalfin, co-rapporteur on the Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF) and Jan Olbrycht, rapporteur on the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). In addition, members of the K4I Forum Governing Board such as Judith Merkies, rapporteur for the Innovation Union, Danuta Huebner, Chair of the REGI Committee, and Edit Herczog, Member of the Budget Committee, also participated.
Overall, more than 20 Members of the European Parliament, and more than 60 speakers engaged in discussions with some 400 participants during 12 single events.
Participants reemphasised that innovation is the backbone of Europe’s economy and the key to recovering from the economic crisis. Europe should not only promote investment in research, but also ensure that the results are turned into innovative services and products and taken up on the market.
K4I and its partners are proud to ascertain that, since the first Summit, the discussions have shifted towards innovation related aspects of the ‘research value chain’. In addition, there is a broad consensus that people, such as researchers, entrepreneurs, civil servants, and society at large play a significant role when it comes to innovation.
The integration of research, technology development and commercialisation is a major and very welcome shift in thinking in recent years. The intentions to connect Horizon2020, the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP) and structural funds in the next funding period, with a significant component of structural funds aimed at innovation, will greatly help Europe’s innovation performance. It is important that current austerity thinking does not undo these good intentions.
MEP Lambert van Nistelrooij, Chair of the K4I Forum Governing Board, emphasised: “We need to improve the communication between the different actors and build bridges throughout all levels to make Europe more innovative and bring us out of the crisis.”
K4I thanks the partners and participants of the 4th European Innovation Summit and invites all stakeholders to join the debate on the future of innovation in Europe organised by K4I.