EurActiv.com Correspondent's Choice

This story about an EU innovation blueprint was published by EurActiv on 6th October 2010.

Patent reform and new sources of finance are at the heart of the EU’s new innovation strategy, published today (6 October) by the European Commission. The EU has also announced the first ‘Innovation Partnership’, which will begin next year and is dedicated to healthy ageing.

Brussels says too few of Europe’s ideas make the journey from “research to retail” and global competition, particularly from Asia, means the EU must up its game or risk falling into unchecked decline.

The EU has now committed to steering structural funds and public procurement towards innovation, as well as removing bottlenecks that make it difficult for Europeans to turn knowledge into marketable products.

A new cross-border venture capital regime and an expansion of the European Investment Bank’s Risk-Sharing Finance Facility will be part of a concerted effort to match innovative firms with investors, according to Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, EU commissioner for research, innovation and science, and Commission Vice- President Antonio Tajani, responsible for industry and entrepreneurship.

The long-awaited plan proposes that governments set aside dedicated budgets for buying innovative products and services, a move that could create a procurement market worth at least €10 billion a year.

The Commission will now review structural funding and state aid frameworks while helping member states to tap into the €86 billion of structural funds earmarked for research and innovation.

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