Abstract: 

Sharing COWIN actions and best practices to bridge the gap between research and market generating economic value for the benefit of SMEs and the European industry in general

Horizon 2020 – a great opportunity designed by the European Parliament and Commission to support research and innovation actions
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The European economic recovery will be driven by innovations penetrating the market and generating growth and employment. Horizon 2020 – the Programme for Research and Innovation – is dedicated to make this ambition a reality.

Europe has largely invested for years in Research and Science, and it is recognized that bridging technologies to the market is the real challenge. With Horizon 2020, Europe puts a great emphasis on the innovation part of the value chain. Horizon 2020 will help contributing to bridge in supporting steps closer to the market through demonstrator, prototyping, pre- production and pre-commercialization.

The European Parliament and the European Commission develop policies and make funding instruments available. The success however will depend on how they are used by the actors of the innovation ecosystem.

COWIN to make it happen by supporting the growth of SMEs

During the preparation phase of the Horizon 2020 proposal, DG Connect launched the COWIN initiative, which is dedicated to encourage the commercial exploitation of FP6 and FP7 research projects results. This Coordination and Support Action is considered as an inspiring model for the different actions, which will be launched as part of Horizon 2020 and will be dedicated to the commercialization of innovation.

COWIN is a pragmatic and concrete action:
- We successfully supported the launch and growth of 20 start-up companies exploiting collaborative research results;
- We gave a new life to orphan technologies exploited by young and innovative companies that helped strengthening their competitive position;
- We engaged more than 25 private investors to support new ventures in the smart system area;
- We structured a relevant ecosystem for research and innovation exploitation, as a node in the network and among the regional clusters with a thematic focus: Smart systems.

A focus on ICT hardware – Key enabler to diffuse innovation and value within the whole European industry to be expanded to other fields

The ICT hardware industry was a good field to launch COWIN. Indeed these Key Enabling Technologies present strong economic opportunities in enabling the ICT revolution in all the different European industries while helping to overcome major societal challenges. By introducing smart components in existing systems, the value of the system can be multiplied by a factor 3 to 5. New applications and uses are made possible through smart innovation from the Smart Phone to Smart Cities, Robotics, Home care and e-health, but also higher traceability and Security.

Sharing COWIN best practices to pave the way for a successful support to SMEs in the framework of Horizon 2020

During this breakfast session, COWIN will share its experience from the smart systems and ICT hardware sector and explain how it can be applied and be used in other sectors and at a European scale.

The debate will gather innovation stakeholders and will address what can, and what we believe should be done to further develop the COWIN approach towards a truly sustainable model for exploitation of research results to the benefit of SMEs in Europe.