A European Council for Innovation

At a meeting of the EU Council of Ministers on the 27th of May, 2016, Carlos Moedas (EU Research Commissioner) presented the first results of the “Call for Ideas” to the development of a European Innovation Council.

Between February 16th and April 27th there were more the 1,000 responses as part of the consultation looking for ideas to develop the European Innovation Council (EIC) with feedback coming from the research community, industry and the public sector – including 176 support documents and detailed position papers.

The feedback emphasises the importance of the question of innovation from the perspective of stakeholders. Approximately 80% of participants stated that in Europe there was a lack of disruptive innovations, and about 76% were of the opinion that there are funding gaps in this area. Many respondents mentioned the SME instrument and that with the right criteria (open tender processes, flexible themes, simple procedures) it could promote innovation and contribute to the “scaling-up” of SMEs. In addition, many participants regard advice and mentoring as more important than money for innovation.

The Commissioner made it clear that the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) occupies an important role in the innovation process and will be included in the development of the EIC. He also stressed that in the debate on the EIC that it is not about creating a new institutional body or to move budget from general research to the field of innovation, but that much of what is required could already be achieved within the legal framework of Horizon 2020 in order to develop market-creating innovations. The further development of the EIC is to be discussed on the basis of a proposal by the European Commission at the upcoming informal Council in July 2016 under Slovak presidency.

Photo credit: “www.colourbox.com”. Material used in the preparation of this article has been drawn from the Federal Minister of Education and Research (BMBF).

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