The European Commission has presented its contribution to the discussion that heads of state and government will hold in Sofia on future research and innovation and the steps needed to ensure Europe’s global competitiveness.
The commissions Renewed European Agenda for Research and Innovation presents a set of actions to develop Europe’s innovation capability and provide lasting global competitiveness for future research.
It is argued that for Europe to become the global innovation success that it has the potential to be, the commission needs to put in place actions that can be brought into effect straight away.
Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: “With growing international competition, Europe needs to act urgently on research and innovation. The proposed €100bn for the next EU research and innovation programme would be a huge boost. But Europe also needs to reform the support for breakthrough innovation through a new European Innovation Council and reconnect with citizens through a mission driven approach to research and innovation. We need to future-proof regulations and attract more private investment, in particular in venture capital.”
Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, added: “Europe has world-class research and a strong industrial base. But we must do better – much better – at turning that excellence into success. New megatrends, such as artificial intelligence and the circular economy, are going to bring profound changes to society and the economy. We need to act fast to be able to lead the new wave of innovation and set the standard for global competition.”
What are the suggested actions for future research?
The commission welcomes the President of the European Council’s decision to schedule a debate amongst leaders on research and innovation and invites them to discuss and give strategic orientation to its suggested actions.
These actions include:
- Ensuring that regulation and financing are innovation-friendly – Proposed measures include Increasing the procurement of innovative products and services by public authorities by applying the guidelines published by the commission today. Swiftly adopting the next EU 2021-2027 budget with the proposed allocation of €100bn to Horizon Europe and the Euratom research and training programme, as well as other major funding programmes that will provide a significant stimulus to innovation. Rolling out the VentureEU initiative to boost private investment and venture capital and to further simplifying EU State aid rules to facilitate public funding of innovative projects including blending of EU and national funds.
- Becoming a frontrunner in market-creating innovation – The commission proposes to establish a full-scale European Innovation Council to offer a one-stop shop for high potential and breakthrough technologies, as well as for innovative companies with potential for scaling up; and
- Launching EU-wide research and innovation missions – Having bold and ambitious goals and European added value in areas to be defined with member states, stakeholders and citizens. These could range from the fight against cancer, to clean transport or plastic-free oceans.