From 27 November to 1 December, the European Parliament has been the heart of the innovation ecosystem as policy makers, entrepreneurs, investors and enthusiastic stakeholders have taken part in the 9th edition of the European Innovation Summit.

Feedback of the participants was very enthusiastic: “It was a real pleasure to participate and the level of discussions was impressive” (European Commission speaker), “It was a wonderful week, resulting in a boost of new contacts and ideas. Perfect! (University representative).

The five-day event has covered global innovation megatrend topics such as photonics, quantum technologies, artificial intelligence and robotics, megacities, bioeconomy, regenerative medicine, cybersecurity, digital health and big data. The main issues have been debated from the cohesion, science, research and innovation policy angle and evaluated at the global, European, national and regional level. Professionals, passionate entrepreneurs and specialists of the innovation ecosphere have shared their solutions, ambitions, skills, knowledge and success stories, creating an ever-growing melting pot of diversity and inspiration that represents the foundation for Europe to become the global innovation leader.

The 9th edition of the European Innovation Summit opened a new chapter with the organization of the EU Top 50 Millennial Startups competition. Selected among several hundred applicants, the Top 50 winners pitched their ventures to European leaders in business, finance and politics in the Hemicycle of the European Parliament. From healthcare and digital technologies to environmental and educational endorsing apps, the 50 winners of this year’s competition have been fostering creative and innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. As Bertrand Piccard, co-founder and CEO of Solar Impulse Foundation motivated, people should believe the impossible can become possible and they should dream big: “Precisely because something hasn’t been done before that you have to try! If you want to change the world, find the paradigm that’s blocking your way and abolish it!”

“Collaboration” was the recurrent keyword present throughout the debates and conferences. No matter the field, the country, the technology or the research outcome, cooperation can guarantee progress. As Victor Negrescu, the Minister Delegate for European Affairs of Romania, has beautifully concluded, we are more vulnerable if we work individually: “Together, we are stronger. The most beneficial way to achieve success is to build an innovation ecosystem which can provide advantageous opportunities to engage, connect and learn from each other.” And as Isidoro Laso Ballesteros, Head of Sector Startup and Scaleup, DG CNECT, complemented during the EU Top 50 StartUp Convention: “Our mission should be that of building a continent connecting pools of talent from all over Europe that will offer solutions to the two main obstacles in innovation: access to talent and quality of the ecosystem.”

When it comes to the impact of innovation, not even the sky is the limit anymore. As Marie-Josee Blais, Assistant Deputy Minister, Science and Innovation, Government of Quebec stated: “These are exciting times to be alive!” Let’s keep an open mind, work together and make the world a better place!

Preparations for the 10th anniversary of the European Innovation Summit have already started and we invite all innovation stakeholders that want to contribute to making Europe a global leader in innovation to engage.