Innovators and entrepreneurs are the main drivers of technological advances, economic growth, job creation, and social progress. In the context of post-COVID recovery, their role is more than ever essential. It is therefore of great importance that we create the ground for a sustainable, robust and integrated ecosystem that supports startups and innovative businesses in Europe. Access to resources (capital and talent), genuine multi-stakeholder involvement, public-private/private-private collaborations, innovation networks that nourish innovators as well as a climate that encourages diversity and inclusiveness are all vital for a robust innovation ecosystem.
It is with this in mind, we are sharing with you the final report on the results of the stakeholder consultation: “A Robust Innovation Ecosystem for the Future of Europe”. This report takes stock of the results of eight workshops, questionnaire and the high-level conference held between the end of October 2019 and the end of February 2020 organized by the European Innovation Council Task Force (EIC) at Directorate-General for Research & Innovation, European Commission.
More than 350 diverse stakeholders – startups and SMEs, investors, corporates, universities and RTOs, regions and cities, National Innovation Agencies and Ministries were consulted.
Report on the Results of the Stakeholder Consultation
This report brings together the outcomes of a consultation process developed and run by the European Innovation Council Task Force. One that involved representatives of the most relevant actors of the innovation ecosystems from all corners of Europe and beyond. It is a mirror of the state of play of the European innovation ecosystem and a source of inspiration for European policymakers.
Overall, the report:
- Presents challenges, needs and priorities of the innovation ecosystems stakeholders in Europe;
- Identifies initiatives from different categories of stakeholders for the further development of the European innovation ecosystems portfolio; and
- Gathers suggestions and ideas as to how actions defined in the European Innovation Ecosystems work programme could help the stakeholders.
The findings of the consultation exercise are an essential contribution to the preparation of European Innovation Ecosystems work programme under Horizon Europe.
As each ecosystem stakeholder has specific bottlenecks and challenges related to issues of connectedness, competence, talent, and access to and deployment of capital. Cutting across all three issues are the inclusion and diversity challenges inherent to a rich and multicultural region like Europe.
The feedback emphasised the need to work together, overcome personal or niche issues. Also mentioned was expanding collaboration through increased data analysis and qualitative information sharing. Europe needs to provide an excellent environment to foster innovation through better citizen engagement, increased openness to investment risk and reduced regulatory burden.
“Europe can compete with other world regions and become a global leader in many disruptive fields. The only way to achieve it is by joining forces, uniting our diverse resources and investing strongly in our future”, said Jean-David Malo, Director of the European Innovation Council, EIC Task Force.
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