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The European Commission's "Innovation Union" – turning ideas into jobs, green growth and social progress

Oct 8, 2010

The European Commission's "Innovation Union", tabled today, sets out a strategic approach to innovation, driven by the highest political level. The Innovation Union will focus Europe's efforts – and co-operation with third countries - on challenges like climate change, energy and food security, health and an ageing population. It will use public sector intervention to stimulate the private sector and to remove bottlenecks which stop ideas reaching the market. These include lack of finance, fragmented research systems and markets, under-use of public procurement for innovation and slow standard setting. The Innovation Union is a "flagship" in the Europe 2020 Strategy.
Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science and Vice- President Antonio Tajani, responsible for industry and entrepreneurship said: "As we emerge from crisis in the teeth of fierce global competition, we face an innovation emergency. If we do not transform Europe into an Innovation Union, our economies will wither on the vine while ideas and talent go to waste. Innovation is the key to building sustainable growth and fairer and greener societies. A sea change in Europe's innovation performance is the only way to create lasting and well-paid jobs that withstand the pressures of globalisation. "
A new study* shows that meeting the Europe 2020 target of increasing R&D investment to 3 percent of GDP could create 3.7 million jobs and increase annual GDP by up to €795 billion by 2025. One million extra researchers will be needed.

More information:

* P. Zagamé, (2010) The cost of a non-innovative Europe

BILAT-USA (Grant Agreement no: 244434) and Link2US (Grant Agreement no: 244371) Projects are co-funded by the European Union’s Capacities Programme on International Cooperation under the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Cooperation.