Why Europe needs a Pact For Innovation!
The Pact for Innovation is about getting the environment for innovation in Europe ‘right’: a legislative framework that encourages innovation, mechanisms and programmes in support of innovation activities from initial idea to international scale-up and acceptance of risk taking which is inevitable when developing new technologies and starting new business ventures. Innovation being mainly about solutions for present and future challenges, it is of utmost importance to put the younger generation in the focus of the ‘Pact for Innovation’ objectives and activities.
A) A coherent set of EU policies for innovation
I) Ensure a horizontal approach in EU innovation policy making with a particular attention on synergies between industrial, digital and research and innovation policies as well as those that address major challenges.
II) Based on a political mandate, the Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation should foster the coordination of policies relevant for innovation across the Commission. A hand-in-hand cooperation with the Commissioner for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness is indispensable.
III) Create a supportive regulatory framework that fosters innovation, strengthens transparency and focusses on the quality of legislation.
IV) Apply systematically analysis on the consequences for innovation during the impact assessment of new and reviewed policies and legislation in various sectors.
V) Ensure an important role of science in the decision-making process with high standards for science in policy making.
VI) Foster a better exchange of best practices in innovation policy between member states and the EU to stimulate new solutions how to turn research into innovation and innovation into successful business.
VII) Make sure that political structures and processes are adapted to new technological and societal challenges, while ensuring a strong role for stakeholders.
B) Re-focusing and aligning EU budgets and investments towards innovation
VIII) Use the mid-term reviews of the MFF, Horizon2020 and the ESIF funds to scale up innovations creating new European-wide markets.
IX) Take into account the important role of intergovernmental organisations and Joint Programming through which Commission funds are strongly leveraged by national innovation funding.
X) Align various funding programs and instruments to overcome “Valley of Death” to ensure a smooth transition from invention to innovation and the creation of economic value and employment. This should be considered for all critical phases from early stage to growth as well as on the way from SME to mid-cap and international market leader.
C) Improve Citizens and Investor confidence in Europe
XI) Enhanced tools for science communication and dialogue with key stakeholders to increase the understanding in the public for science and innovation in society and strengthen the relationship between scientists, societal stakeholders, media and the public.
XII) Increase consumer and investor confidence in Europe by creating an EU wide dialogue between the different communities to find a balance between technology driven developments and those that are relevant from an environmental -, health- and safety perspective.
D) Paving the way for the next generation
XIII) Foster the engagement of the next generation of scientists, researchers, inventors and innovators.
XIV) Prepare the future by strengthening networks of young innovators and entrepreneurs to gain critical mass across Europe. Appropriate skills sets have to be developed and made available in national curricula from primary school to master degree levels.