Europe is back: Accelerating Breakthrough Innovation
The independent High-Level Group of Innovators advising the European Commission has published its recommendations on how a European Innovation Council (EIC) should fund and nurture breakthrough innovation from start-up to scale-up.
In their report, entitled ‘Europe is back: Accelerating breakthrough innovation‘, they recommend that a future EIC provides simplified and flexible financing, tailor-made for the needs of the innovator and which incentivises private investment for rapid scaling up. They also recommend boosting awareness of Europe’s innovation successes and leveraging European ecosystems, so that highly innovative companies can benefit from expertise and partnerships from across Europe.
Four factors that hold back breakthrough and deep tech innovation in Europe have been identified:
- Funding – Breakthrough innovation, in particular deep tech, requires large investments, over a significant time period. This is the kind of finance that is missing in Europe and presents a systemic failure;
- Awareness- Europe needs a flagship initiative on breakthrough innovation that can attract the best innovators and connect local and sectorial ecosystems;
- Scale – Europe needs continental scale to compete at global level;
- Talent- Europe needs role models and champions.
The document should provide a critical mass of funding and expertise for high risk / high gain breakthrough innovation, which empowers the innovator and incentivizes private investment.
Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas welcomed the recommendations and said they formed a significant input for the development of a full-fledged European Innovation Council as part of the next EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The report was first presented to French President Emmanuel Macron at the World Economic Forum in Davos, who has made similar calls for a European agency for innovation.
Commissioner Moedas said:
These recommendations show how a European Innovation Council would empower our most talented innovators and stimulate an environment of risk-taking, entrepreneurship and scaling-up to the international stage. They come at a critical time in the preparations for the next EU research and innovation programme.
The Group’s chair, Hermann Hauser, co-Founder of Amadeus Capital Partners, said:
We are convinced that our fourteen recommendations – on funding, awareness, scale and talent – will constitute a step change in the impact of EU innovation support and help catapult Europe into pole position in the global innovation stakes
Bindi Karia, Start-upexpert and advisor and Member of the High-Level Group of Innovators added in the report:
Ecosystem players from across Europeare all involved in the Startup Europe project, andwhat has transpired is that these leaders fromeach country collaborating and learning from eachother borders. And it continues to grow. From citieslike Paris to Berlin to Stockholm to Lisbon, the keypeople in these communities know each other andare increasingly collaborating with each other, dealby deal and company by company.
The High-Level Group of 15 leading innovators was launched in January 2017. Their recommendations will be considered in the Commission’s proposals for the future EU research and innovation Framework Programme (post-Horizon 2020) due to be presented by this summer.
The Commission has launched an EIC pilot programme (2018-20), to test out new approaches within the current Horizon 2020 programme to better support top-class innovators, start-ups, small companies and researchers with breakthrough ideas with scale up potential.