Innovation central to European economic growth

Published 13-10-2010
Innovation was once again the topic when EFTA hosted a roundtable meeting on Wednesday 13 October organised by Science-Business. Marion Dewar from Commissioner Máire Geohegan-Quinn's Cabinet for Research, Innovation and Science explained how the newly adopted "Innovation Union" will work. "Innovation is central to European economic growth and a core part of Europe's economic policy" said Dewar.

Since February, the European Commission has been developing a grand new strategy for innovation policy, led by Commissioner Geohegan-Quinn. Only a week ago the Commission adopted the "Innovation Union", which was presented in the meeting of Subcommittees I-IV on 12 October.

"The Innovation policy should underpin the EU 2020 objectives, increase support for SMEs and it should promote more innovation", Dewar said.

In order to solve what has been called an "innovation emergency", the Commission is calling for greater collaboration between the public and private sector in order to promote innovation and so create jobs, overcome the grand challenges and build an innovation culture to rival that in the United States. The focus for doing this will be European Innovation Partnerships, each focused on a specific grand challenge.

"Due to its links with the EU’s Research and Innovation Programmes, in which the EFTA States participate, the Innovation Union is of great importance to us as well", EFTA’s Hjördis Hendriksdottir said.

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