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.
WORLD’S LEADING STARTUP EVENT.
During what is – let’s be honest – the sh*ttiest weather season of the year, Slush brings together the leading actors of the global tech scene to Helsinki for something very special. Described by many as “Burning Man meets TED”, the event has grown in just a few short years to 17,500 attendees and 1 million live stream viewers.
In 2016, over 2,300 startups, 1,100 venture capitalists, and 600 journalists from over 120 countries came to Slush to drive business, and to experience the phenomenal atmosphere.
Startup Europe Comes to Africa (SEC2A) Launch Event 6th November 2017, Brussels
Startup Europe Comes to Africa (“SEC2A”) Launch Event
6thNovember 2017, Brussels
Africa and Europe are bound together by history and separated by fewer than 14 kilometres. At the first EU-Africa Summit in Cairo in 2000, leaders from both continents agreed to strengthen their partnerships. The public image of Africa, however, tends to highlight Africa’s problems such as civil wars, famine and fleeing migrants, and not its opportunities, such as its ambitious African entrepreneurs.
Startup Europe Comes to Africa aims to change this by introducing grass-roots entrepreneurial efforts and success stories to an international audience. In particular, we aim to add another dimension to the images of Africa by bringing together prestigious African heads of states, entrepreneurs and business leaders on the one hand and European politicians, entrepreneurs and celebrities on the other hand.
Our aim is to connect Africa and Europe through digital trade and not aid. This campaign is just the first step to building a stable, long-term start-up bridge between the two continents.
Would you like to attend the launch event in Brussels? Then click here.
Our institutional partners span European and African political leaders, royalty, some of the largest multinational corporates in the world, leading entrepreneurial networks, pan-African venture capital networks, and celebrities. They include:
- The European Commission (EC) is the principal European sponsor, as part of the ‘Digital for Development’ agenda and Startup Europe;
- President OlusegunObasanjo is the former President of Nigeria, a position he held from 1999 to 2007, and a former Chair of the African Union. He is our primary African sponsor and will host the event in Nigeria in his OlusegunObasanjo Presidential Library;
- The Brenthurst Foundation is an initiative of South Africa’s Oppenheimer (De Beer) family. They are our primary host in South Africa, though, as described in more detail below, we are also working with the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative and Wesgro (the official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape);
- HRH, the Duke of York’s initiative, Pitch@Palace,will offer winners the opportunity to pitch at Pitch@Palace Global;
- We are collaborating with the Heart, a European centre for start-up and corporate collaboration. Based in Poland, they have a network of executives and founders that spans over 25 countries;
- In South Africa, in addition to the Brenthurst Foundation, we are working with Injini, an educational technology accelerator that will be our primary host and that belongs to a larger initiative called the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi). We are also working with Wesgro, the official trade, tourism and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape, and are working directly with Tim Harris, CEO of Wesgro and former South African Shadow Minister of Finance, to ensure the event’s success. Finally, Google has opened up its network of African start-up partners to us to access the continent’s best start-ups.
To see the agenda for the Road Trip you can click here.
The campaign will begin with a launch event in Brussels at the European Commissionon 6 November. As described above, it will be followed by a road trip to South Africa (from 20-22 November) and Nigeria(from 23-25 November) that will ultimately culminate in Abidjan, Ivory Coast for the 5th EU-Africa Summit.
During the week of 6 November, we will host the official EU launch of Startup Europe Comes to Africa.This will be a high-profile event of approximately 100 VIPs, including relevant journalists. We will work with organisations such as Afrobytes, VC4Africa, Wayra, Orange, Africa House, The Heart and Google for Entrepreneurs to get the word out among African and European entrepreneurs to ensure an audience of grassroots organisers as well as corporates, investors and tech journalists.
WHAT DOES GOOD LOOK LIKE?
- Positive and significant PR and social media presence across European and African publications;
- Senior European Commission delegates, such as VP Ansip, leaving with excitement and positivity about the SEC2A initiative and Start-up Europe more generally;
- ‘Buzz’ amongst European and African entrepreneurial communities; and
- The sense that this event was a meaningful first stepto forging long-term substantive links between Africa and Europe’s entrepreneurial ecosystems.
- Senior EC representatives, including Vice President Ansip;
- Representatives from national governments and embassies;
- European political and business leaders with links to Africa;
- A selection of the successful European entrepreneurs who have been selected to attend Abidjan;
- Representatives from EU corporate sponsors, including Telefónicaand Orange;
- African and EU Journalists; and
- Noteworthy members of the EU and African start-up ecosystems.
11:00 Guests arrive. Welcome reception and networking over coffee.
11:30 Introduction by VP Ansip
11:45 Introduction by President Obasanjo
12:00 Introduction to Startup Europe by Isidro Laso
12:45 Introduction to SEC2A by Gary Stewart and Emma Fau
13:30 Lunch and Networking
14:30 Africa – Believe the Hype: Panel discussion of African and EU corporates, investors and start-ups
15:15 Start-up Pitches (5 3-minute pitches from selection of EU start-ups chosen to go to Abidjan)
If you want to attend the event and need to get a ticket, then click here.
The time Is Now.
Market, Partnership and Investment Opportunities in the USA Await You!
NearUS, the H2020 initiative aiming at building upENRICH – European Network of Research and Innovation Centres and Hubs – in the USA announces the opening of the following calls
- NearUS Match & Pitch at CES 2018 (January 7-11, 2018)! (click here)
- NearUS Innovation Tour to San Francisco, Sacramento and Silicon Valley (January 15-19, 2018)! (click here)
- NearUS Research2Market (R2M) Bootcamp in Boston, with an individualisedprogramme across the USA (March 4-16, 2018) and a pre-departure workshop in Brussels in February 2018! (click here)
- NearUS Business2Business (B2B) Bootcamp in Boston, with an individualisedprogramme across the USA (March 4-16, 2018) and a pre-departure workshop in Brussels in February 2018! (click here)
Are you an early stage entrepreneur, early stage Startup founder,researcher, research organization, SME, or cluster looking for market information, market opportunities,partners, investment opportunities and feedback on yourinnovations?
Then you should definitely visit us at https://near-us.eu/opportunities to learn more about the calls
Deadline for applications is:
November 12th, 2017 23.59 CET for the NearUS Match & Pitch at CES 2018 and the NearUS Innovation Tour to the West Coast
December 5th, 2017 23.59 CET for the NearUS Bootcamps in Boston
The European Maker Week is back!
Building on last year’s European Maker Week (EMW), this year’s movement will challenge all creative makers around EU to identify a need in their community, and build solutions for real problems.
The European Maker Week is an opportunity for citizens from communities throughout the EU to participate in local activities, celebrating the innovation, ingenuity and creativity of the Maker Movement.
EMW was created last year to encourage, promote and highlight organisations from around the EU who are working to create more opportunities for people of all ages to be makers.
Makers are building themselves keys for the future: developing new solutions and products for pressing challenges; engaging students in hands on interactive learning of STEM, arts, and design; and enabling individuals to learn new skills in fabrication and manufacturing.
EMW is also an opportunity to convene key stakeholders in each local community to discuss the role of the Maker Movement in areas such as education, entrepreneurship, workforce development, manufacturing, community revitalisation and community-based problem solving.
Getting different stakeholders together to talk about the Maker Movement will develop new collaborations, partnerships and initiatives that can help grow this ecosystem in each territory.
The European Maker Week is an initiative, promoted by the European Commission’s Startup Europe, organised under the high patronage of the European Parliament, and implemented by Maker Faire Rome.
SEE THE NEED, BUILD THE SOLUTION
EMW presents an opportunity to showcase what makers do best: making things. The goal of each community’s project is to encourage makers to identify a problem in their community and to build a solution
WHAT ARE THE EXPECTED OUTCOMES?
While the goal of the event is to start a dialogue, the expected outcomes of #EMW17 should stretch well beyond the specific day of each event. While each community will determine the exact outcome of its own EMW, the hope is that the whole Week will spur the development of partnerships and programs within the maker community in order to have lasting impacts on the different local towns and cities.
Here’s more info on how to organise an event
Some examples of outcomes of such events are:
- Increased support for local maker events by local government
- A manufacturing alliance between local makers and manufacturing organisations
- Academic partnerships between teachers and local makers
- A health making partnership between a local elder facility and a community makerspace
- A Chamber of Commerce featuring local makers, hackers, artists, and artisans.
- European Maker Week is also part of the initiatives for “Maker Faire Rome – The European Edition“ which will be held in Rome from the 1st to the 3rd of December, expecting 110,000 visitors and with over 400 exhibitors’ from all over Europe.
About European Maker Week
The European Maker Week (EMW) is an initiative promoted by European Commission and implemented by Maker Faire Rome in collaboration with Startup Europe. EMW was created last year to encourage, promote, and highlight organizations from around the UE who are working to create more opportunities for more people of all ages to make. Makers are developing new solutions and products for pressing challenges, engaging students in hands on, interactive learning of STEM, arts, and design, and enabling individuals to learn new skills in fabrication and manufacturing.
About Startup Europe
The Startup Europe Team works with entrepreneurs connecting them with the European ecosystem where talent, investment and learning can be easily captured. We believe Europe’s growth is going to be determined by savvy startups, and we want to support the growth of these startups.
About Maker Faire Rome
The greatest Maker Faire after the Bay Area. Maker Faire Rome is a celebration of innovation, open to all forms of applied creativity where startups and innovators are invited to participate to show their sense of creative entrepreneurship. It’s an event created to cater to curious participants of all ages, wishing to experience first-hand the makers’ inventions. Inventions that are the result of a desire to solve everyday problems, whether big or small. The watchwords of the Maker Faire Rome are: meeting, exchange, training, entertainment and interaction. At #MFR17 innovation is made available to everyone.
Apply now for GIIF 2018!
The 4th Green Innovation and Investment Forum will take place on 20th and 21st February 2018 in Stuttgart with the focus on “Smart Green Industry”. The application for startups is now open http://green-inno-forum.eu/#apply-attend
The Forum is the only industry-oriented event, looking for smart business ideas and innovative concepts from the Green Technology sector. Trendsetting solutions from areas such as Environmental Engineering, Green IT, Resource and Energy Efficiency, Smart Grid, Material Efficiency or Smart Production are eligible for submission.
If your solution is convincing, you will get the opportunity to present your business idea to investors and market actors in a six-minute pitch. In the generous matching breaks, there will be time for talks with decision makers, experts and investors.
Are you a founder or start-up currently looking for financing and support? Apply now and find your partners for (start-up) financing, development or licensing of your technologies or business ideas in Stuttgart!
Owners Teams of the shortlisted ideas will be entitle to attend the exclusive and personalised Green Training Day (on 20th February 2018). Investors, VCs, and SMEs will be invited to the Pitching Day on 21st February 2018 to award the winners of GIIF 2018.
The event is free of charge for start-ups, researchers and founders.
Interested startups and companies can apply till the 31st October 2017 here http://green-inno-forum.eu/#apply-attend
Startup Europe Comes to Silicon Valley
SEC2SV 2016 kicked off with the flagship pan-European event in Silicon Valley, European Innovation Day on Sep 12th, with Tim Draper addressing 500 entrepreneurs, professionals, and EU policy makers – and closed with an intimate invite only ceremony, on Sep 20th, led by Elżbieta Bieńkowska, EU commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs.
Past participants included: The best 15 EU scaleups expanding to the US; Betsy Masiello, Head of public Policy @ Uber; Günther H. Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources; Julie Hanna, US Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship; Francisco de la Torre Prados, Mayor of Malaga, Spain; and Henry Chesbrough, the Father of Open Innovation.
SEC2SV 2017 maintains the above trend, and goes a step further by taking an intricate look at the EU corporate innovation outpost environment in Silicon Valley. Where are they from? When were they established? How can you partner with them and let them help you succeed?
Other notable inclusions in 2017:
- An invitation to EU Commissioner for Research Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas
A dive into EU’s dominance on hot topics:
- Industry 4.0 – From manufacturing to automation
- Augmented Reality, AR / Virtual Reality, VR
- Artificial Intelligence, AI
- Privacy and Data storage/transfer
Find more info on: SEC2SV 2017
Co.Station Crossroads Summit
For the occasion of the launch of Omar Mohout’s new book – “NUMERI – From idea to Product/Market Fit” -, we are organizing our first Co.Station Crossroads Summit. A unique event to discuss Digital Innovation and Corporate Venturing, gathering some of the most relevant actors in the Belgian ecosystem.
Learn from distinguished entrepreneurs, corporates, academics and market influencers:
Growth Engineer, Sirris: The startup lifecycle
Dado Van Peteghem
OUR PANEL OF DISCUSSION
A reality check with experts:
Public Speaking expert, Pitch Trainer, moderator, media professional
General Manager & CEO of Microsoft Belgium & Luxembourg
CEO Le Wagon Benelux
Dean of Vlerick Business School
Johan De Geyter
CEO BNP Paribas Fortis
NETWORKING AND EXHIBITION
Where the bright minds meet
In addition to the conference, we shall host an exhibition, where you can meet and engage with Scaleups, academics and corporates from around Belgium, all in one place.
18:00 OPEN DOORS AND REGISTRATION
18:30 WELCOME WORDS
18:40 KEYNOTE 1: INNOVATION TODAY
19:00 KEYNOTE 2: CORPORATE VENTURING
19:20 PANEL DISCUSSION: A REALITY CHECK ON BELGIUM CORPORATE TO SCALEUP ENGAGEMENT
20:20 CLOSING REMARKS
20:30 NETWORKING, EXHIBITION OPENS AND COCKTAIL
Making a new Europe: The OpenMaker initiative
Accelerating the 4th Industrial Revolution: Inviting Makers & Manufacturers
The OpenMaker initiative is a pan-European project aiming to seed & accelerate the 4th Industrial Revolution.
We recognise manufacturing as one of the key sectors in Europe: in 2014, manufacturing represented around 16% of the EU GDP, more than 80% of EU total exports, 80% of private Research and Development expenditure, and employed 30 million people. However, the sector has suffered in the wake of an economic crisis and globalisation, and in 2014 a goal was announced to increase manufacturing’s share of GDP to 20% by 2020. Such aspirations require radical innovation in the face of economic decline and technological disruption.
The 4th industrial revolution heralds such a shift not only in the nature of what we make and how and where we make it but also how we reimagine elements like citizens rights, quality assurance, insurance warranties and provenance in a zero margin cost society. It is ultimately supporting the distributed networking of scale free industrial processes to bring about the new “smart factory” city.
This initiative seeks to catalyse the ideation, discovery, design and prototyping of business models, production processes, products, and governance systems.
We aim to seed & prototype collaborative innovation across manufacturers and makers and transforming linear vertical supply chains into supply meshes, democratizing and decentralising innovation and supporting mass customisation is seen as a strategic opportunity for ushering forth a new era of manufacturing.
The programme will initially support makers and manufacturers with 4 accelerator hubs across Europe (UK, Italy, Slovakia and Spain) offering seminars, matching events and training sessions to facilitate partnerships. the initiative will also engage with citizens, universities, local authorities, civil society organisations and policy-makers. Each hub will award prizes of up to €20,000 to successful partnerships, and all partners will be supported by a dedicated digital platform to widen the opportunity for businesses to grow.
Imagine a future where manufacturing companies become the open platform for young innovators to try inventions and take their next step to making an impact on society. Then, imagine a future in which brilliant innovators are able to transform industrial processes, making them more efficient and effective, resulting in more user-friendly products for society. OpenMaker unites these two dreams.
– Filippo Addarii, Co-Founder and CEO, PlusValue
The industrial revolution was born at the crucible of a reimagining of our institutions and our means of making, and we are again at a similar moment where the remaking of our literal future is contingent on us reimagining our institutional infrastructure for a new age of Democratized making. OpenMaker initiatives recognise the 4th industrial revolution will not be made by merely focusing on new products or the localized remaking of existing products, but on this symbiotic relationship between our institutions and our means of making. The OpenMaker initiative is an open opportunity for cities to systematically reimagine and start recasting their manufacturing ecosystem for a 21st Century.
-Indy Johar, Senior Innovation Associate Young Foundation, Co-Founder 00, Co-Founder Dark Matter Laboratories, Chair – Wikihouse Foundation.
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT
Catherine Hughes, Communications, OpenMaker
M: 0044 7746 198 352 (UK)
OpenMaker is funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The OpenMaker consortium consists of 10 partners:
- The Young Foundation (UK)
- Bogazici University (Turkey)
- Centire (Slovakia)
- IMT Lucca (Italy)
- LAMA (Italy)
- Tecnalia (Spain)
- Top-ix (Italy)
- University of Zurich (Switzerland)
- Accord Group (UK)
- PlusValue (UK)
 See EC Task Force on Advanced Manufacturing for Clean Production (2014)
 While Frey-Osborne, (2013) identifies that 47% of current jobs – including accountancy, legal work and technical writing – risk being completely automated in twenty years, it is already apparent that the “sharing economy” and th e “on-demand economy” are facilitating nonstandard employment and subcontracting, reducing substantially workers’ protection. On this topic, and on the impact of globalisation on the manufacturing sector, see also Center for American Progress, 2015.
Interview with Peteris Zilgavis, Head of Startups and Innovation and at the EC.
What is your background?
I’m a barrister, with my J.D. from University of Southern California, and a B.A. in political science from UCLA. I started addressing international law issues in several Latvian ministries (environment, foreign affairs) then moved to private law and then to the World Bank, the Council of Europe and finally the European Commission, working in areas of new technologies, policy and the law.
Is it a logical progression to what you do now?
Yes it is. The Digital Single Market and entrepreneurship in this area follow on my work on how policy and regulatory frameworks can adopt and adapt to innovative solutions rapidly while upholding principles of respect for the environment and our citizens’ interests.
What are you working on now? What are your plans for 2017?
Several important initiatives are implementing the European Commission Communication on the Startups and Scaleups Initiative (innovation procurement, regulatory sandboxes, Startup Europe and ICT standards), and Co-Chairing the European Commission’s Task Force on Financial Technology – FinTech.
What will you be talking about at RVS? / Why are you attending?
I’ll be talking about how Startup Europe aims at mission-based networking between Europe’s Startup ecosystems. We don’t have a single Silicon Valley dominating Europe but different cities that are strong in artificial intelligence, Deep Tech, gaming, FinTech, Insurtech etc. As policymakers, we also are conscious of needing to address societal challenges. The aim is to enable Europe’s entrepreneurs and tech to be part of the solution on the basis of an innovation and investment-friendly business climate.
It was a great year for me because I moved to the Startups and Innovation dossier, which I am very motivated by, but it was a year in which we saw that many voters in the World were dissatisfied with the status quo and were looking for answers. I believe that innovation and entrepreneurship can provide some of the opportunities that have been missing so I’m glad to be working with Europe’s startup communities to ensure that the next scaleups come from the EU and that jobs and growth are generated.
Which influencers and websites do you follow to keep up to date with the latest developments?
Too many to make a choice here (and to show favouritism). Always glad to hear about new sources of info.
How can people find out more about what you are working on?
The Startup Europe websites and social media, the European Commission websites and social media and my own Twitter account ( @PZilgalvis ).
Peteris Zilgalvis, J.D.
Head of Unit, Startups and Innovation
Digital Single Market Directorate
Directorate General Communications Networks, Content and Technology
Co-Chair, FinTech Task Force
Anything else you’d like to add / we should have asked?
I’m looking forward to a great event in beautiful Riga, Latvia, where I’m always glad to be!