Volume IX, 5-2010
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Every business can be innovative! But it must be supported in its innovative efforts!

Every business can be innovative! But it must be supported in its innovative efforts!

Paul Rübig, MEP at the Innovation Conference (14 July, 2010)

The new EU2020 strategy focuses on the Innovative Union and calls for 3% of GDP to be invested in R&D. This reflects a strong European commitment towards a more strategic approach to innovation policies. Furthermore, the Innovative Union flagship initiative and innovation will be the topic of the winter Council of Ministers and the European Council.

As regards innovation, the EU is still lagging behind the U.S. How should the European Union enhance its innovative potential? More than 50 representatives of the EU institutions, Member States, research institutions and business associations gathered in July to discuss how to support innovation in the field of energy and smart grids, environment, research and education. Participants agreed there was a need for suitable benchmarks, fiscal stimulus, a better skill match and enhanced cooperation between researchers, academics and businesses. In the environment, there was also room for using nature through the eco-systembased approach and green infrastructure. Last but not least, adopted legislation must be implemented to deliver real results.

The European Union is giving high priority to promoting innovation in the coming months through the EU2020. During the CEBRE´s debate, David Harmon, Member of the Cabinet of Commissioner Máire Geoghegan- Quinn, stressed the strong political dedication of all parties involved to invest more in research and innovation and to create a Single Innovation Market. “The recently established Group for Indicators examines the most effective indicators to be used to measure development in innovation, as the current indicator – share of investment to R&D on GDP does not reflect the complexity of innovations”, added Harmon. “It is much easier to support research than innovation, thus we have to keep trying to invest in innovation and find suitable benchmarks,” said Reinišová, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic.. Secretary General of EUROCHAMBRES, Arnaldo Abruzzini, voiced his disappointment: “Businesses are the innovation drivers! And not only those in research! Nonetheless, businesses need to be motivated through some type of fiscal stimulus, to ensure better access to finance and to stabilise their human resources through a better skill match.” Member of ITRE Committee Paul Rübig MEP called for better implementation of common objectives: “There are several strategies and legislation in place already, including the 3rd energy package, but the crucial question now is the delivery - how do the Member States implement them?”

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Other articles in this issue:

New opportunities for Czech exporters – Western Balkans and Turkey
ENERGIZING EUROPE: FUTUR/E/MOTION: way to face new challenges in the power sector