Part I - Mission orientation, instruments, impact

The Lamy report on H2020, published in July 2017, makes eleven recommendations for the future of European research and Innovation, from giving a higher priority for R&I at EU and national level, better alignment of EU, further simplification, create better synergies between EU, national and regional policies and funding schemes, mission orientation to the real engagement of citizens. The recommendations together aim at creating a higher impact that is visible for all stakeholders, including citizens.

The Plenary session at the ninth EIS takes up on the different aspects of the future of European R&I policies within the context of the development of Framework Programme 9. Starting from the challenge driven H2020, different perspectives will be discussed from the different stakeholder points of view, especially the Parliament, the Commission, academia and industry.

Key topics include the anticipated role and set up of the new European Innovation Council, will it become a separate pillar with instruments but without set objectives? What will that mean for innovation in Europa, will larger industry be involved or will it primarily concentrate of start ups and scale ups?

And what does mission orientation in the context of FP9 mean, if this approach is taken, how will it be implemented, how are the beneficiaries affected and what about the instruments? Will the EU follow the path of the well-known missions in history (man on the moon) or are different approaches more appropriate in today’s world and in the complexity of the EU? How do missions compare and relate to the societal or global challenges? How can EU, national, regional and urban policies be aligned to generate higher impacts?

New models and approaches are needed to address shorter term needs and longer term objectives. How will new partnership models to support R&I create such long term impact, for instance to align longer term strategic R&I policies and funding programmes at various levels.

A thread that accompanies sound R&I policy making is the relation between R&I and regulation. Regulatory effects on the capacity to innovate are well known, positively and negatively. Many approaches are being tested today (from sandboxing, innovation deals, to the innovation principle). The regulatory aspects will be woven into all debates.

Part II Rethinking Funding and Financing of Innovation and Research in Europe

As a logical continuation on of the first part of this session we will elaborate on facilitating funding and financing for European research and innovation activities in the years to come. What kinds of financial instruments do we need and do we also foresee blending of financial instruments to support innovation?

In recent years important lessons have been learned of how to financially support new tech-driven-companies in their commercialization of new technologies. New financial instruments have been launched under the InnovFin label which allowed the European Commission in co-operation with the EIB/EIF to stimulate investments in innovative companies. Most of the new financial instruments were based on co-financing of private capital suppliers. Also for the new framework programme the use of financial instruments for the commercialization of technology will be essential. Governments including the regions, banks, Business Angels, Venture Capitalists and even Crowd Funding platforms will have to be attracted to contribute to these innovation and where applicable to new instruments.

One of the key new instruments to increase impact of the research budget is the Innovation Radar. This instrument which will be formally launched in the beginning of next year will allow technology suppliers tech users/investors in Europe to follow progress within in research projects and will facilitate selection, financing and uptake of new technologies developed in the framework programme.

The EIB will focus on their interest and strategy with regard to investing in technology in the coming years. It has recently executed a number sector specific studies in the framework of InnovFin Advisory to better understand the key enabling technologies such as photonics, micro-electronics HPC and generic technology delivery systems such as the Digital Innovation Hubs in an effort to bridge the gap between the investor world and the world of new promising technologies. In the future this policy will be continued and reinforced to allow more innovative companies to benefit.

A private investor HeadsCapital will explain what it takes to develop research projects into investor-ready companies. How are projects selected in terms of their potential in terms of technological due diligence and finally how can they made eligible for private investors.

Finally the TU Delft will explain their strategies of how to support their tech start-ups from a practical point of view. TU Delft has started a general accelerator called “YES Delft” and more recently a mission oriented accelerator called “ROBO-VALLEY” which has begun to generate young and ambitious tech entrepreneurs. TU Delft will elaborate on their expectations of FP 9 in terms of its financial instruments to allow their Tech driven start-ups to be successful in the future.