The Europe of innovation is moving forward

The new European Innovation Agenda, adopted by the European Commission in July, aims to unlock Europe’s innovation potential and enable it to play a leading role on the global innovation stage, becoming a place where deep tech innovation creates breakthroughs solutions across continents.

It is the result of close collaboration with our stakeholders, innovators who are willing and able to lead the new wave of innovation: “deep tech innovation”. They are telling the world that Europe has the competitive advantages to become the global engine for deep tech innovation and start-ups, so that the next generation of researchers, founders and innovators can create and grow their businesses in Europe. .

The new European Innovation Agenda underlines our determination to seek solutions to the most pressing societal and economic challenges through deep technological innovation. Its economic, commercial and social impact will be felt everywhere, as high-tech companies aim to deliver concrete solutions to our most complex challenges.

Successful high-tech companies use a combination of talents to meet a challenge (including scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs). They are at the heart of a complex innovation ecosystem that includes governments, academic institutions, venture capital and large corporations. In 2020, BioNTech and the Pfizer team brought the first COVID-19 vaccine to market in less than a year, demonstrating the strength of this ecosystem. While these companies have achieved remarkable results at an unprecedented pace, they have benefited from the efforts of many other companies in the ecosystem.

The innovation equation

As evidenced by the fact that 97% of deep tech companies contribute to the achievement of at least one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, they focus on big and fundamental challenges. This is why they are called “deep” innovations. Generally, they produce physical goods rather than software. In fact, 83% of deep tech start-ups develop physical assets. They transform the innovation equation from bits to bits and atoms, bringing data and computing power into the physical world.

The initiative called the “New European Innovation Agenda” represents a significant step forward in Europe’s innovation ecosystem. The plan enables the EU to act decisively through five flagship initiatives that provide opportunities for further concrete action.

The first flagship initiative aims to attract private institutional investors to create well-developed financial and capital markets by expanding the European Leverage Action for Venture Capital in favor of scale-up companies “ESCALAR”, for European Scale-Up Action for Risk Capital , proposes legislation regarding listing on the stock exchange and implementation of specific measures to support women investors.

The second flagship effort is centered on supporting deep tech innovation through proving rooms and public procurement, namely proving facilities at universities that can be used in collaboration with deep tech start-ups. tech. The proposed “sandbox” regulatory framework will help the EU to keep pace with rapidly developing technology, allowing deep technological breakthroughs to be assessed and then commercialized in the EU.

The third flagship initiative aims to accelerate and strengthen innovation in a true pan-European innovation ecosystem covering the whole of the EU, as well as to close the innovation gap. It will establish and connect “regional deep technological innovation valleys” bringing together up to 100 regions, make Innospace – a one-stop shop for all players in the European innovation ecosystem, double the number of hydrogen valleys in the European Union and launch “Scaleup 100” -the action, which aims to help the 100 most promising deep tech start-ups to become unicorns (i.e. innovative companies whose valuation exceeds 1 billion euros).

The fourth flagship program ensures the development and circulation of key talent in deep technology in and to the EU. It will train 1,000,000 high-tech experts in areas such as new materials, batteries, synthetic biology, aerospace and quantum technologies. It will support female entrepreneurship and attract global talent through an innovative matchmaking tool. In addition, new mechanisms, such as the European Network of Innovative Higher Education Institutions, just unveiled at the Education and Innovation Summit, will be used to establish close links between education and innovation.

The final flagship initiative focuses on the production and use of comprehensive and comparable data sets and a common data repository that can inform EU-wide policies at all levels. The initiative will begin with the development of European definitions specifying the terms start-up, scale-up and deep tech innovation.

A call to action

We want close cooperation between the Commission and the Member States so that European innovation plays a leading role in meeting today’s and tomorrow’s global challenges. This program is a call to action, we are determined to make it happen.

We call on Member States and regions to build on our proposals and work with the Commission and stakeholders to mobilize investment, ensure favorable framework conditions and implement the necessary reforms. We also encourage universities, which are at the crossroads of research and innovation, to play an active role in the implementation of actions, in particular by promoting horizontal and entrepreneurial skills.

For our part, we will continue to engage innovators, entrepreneurs and citizens more actively in discussions, empower them, promote ideas and respond more responsively to society’s demands. It is important that all regions of Europe benefit from this.

Only together can we achieve the goals of the New European Innovation Agenda, namely the creation of a true pan-European innovation ecosystem where no one is left behind, by joining our efforts to use Europe’s unique talents, intellectual assets and industrial capabilities.