The Innovation Summit hosted by the European Parliament on 17-20 November reviewed policies under the headline ‘a mandate for innovation’. The MEP-led organiser, K4I (Knowledge for Innovation), gathered 4 Commissioner, including for example the one for research , many MEPs including several committee chairs, and a large number of corporate and association representatives.
Below are my conclusions as moderator of the closing plenary. Eight key points emerged, which I regrouped under one overall message.
I would formulate the overall conclusion that way:
EU 2014-2019 INNOVATION MANDATE TO UNLEASH OPPORTUNITIES:
WELL BEYOND R&D PROGRAMMES, VIA BETTER POLICY-MAKING
1) In line with a focus on growth and jobs, R&D programmes will continue to shift from slow research to market-oriented innovation support
2) Each economic and social sector is a mine for innovation and new products: industry, transport, agriculture, IT, environment, energy etc.
3) Social, environmental and consumer protection principles should be respected, without exaggerating the precautionary principle, weighing costs & benefits, science-based
4) Better regulation requires improved policy processes and deeper media coverage: more open, more efficient, better trusted
5) Entrepreneurship calls for only modest support such as training and access to finance: chiefly openness to risk, plus sufficient freedom from over-regulation
6) The Commission should replace its old ‘Agenda Europe 2020’ by something more dynamic, consensual and fitting its political mandate
7) Beyond EU institutions, the onus is on companies and especially on country governments to act
8 ) Country involvement may require binding all EU institutions, including Member States. Commission President Juncker suggested last week an inter-institutionnal agreement.
In a separate Opinion published on EurActiv, I am suggesting that Council President Tusk should pick Innovation as his main topic, and take greater lead.
At the Innovation Summit, I was also encouraged to see strong political consensus, commented in a separate post.Christophe Leclercq