Innovation is one of the cornerstones for future growth and prosperity in Europe. The EU has recognized this by making the Innovation Union one of the flagship Initiatives of the Europe 2020 Strategy.1 Still Europe is facing several challenges when it comes to being the most innovation friendly region: Fragmented markets and an unfinished European Research Area (ERA), limited financial resources due to the on-going financial and eco-nomic crises in several European countries, deteriorating venture capital markets and limited entrepreneurial activities.2 The challenges are manifold and EU support for re-search and innovation not only in financial but also in structural terms is of great im-portance for strengthening Europe's innovativeness.
With Horizon 2020 the European Union has set up the largest multilateral research fund-ing programme for research and innovation ever. Compared to its predecessor FP7, Horizon 2020 puts more emphasis on deploying excellent research results into marketa-ble products to strengthen industrial leadership and to use research and innovation to tackle societal challenges. The mission orientation is vital because Europe is facing a profound transformation of society, driven in the first place by technological changes of an unprecedented scope and size; by an inevitable radical change of the current energy model and by an accelerated globalisation process. The world will change faster and that will require a greater capacity to adapt.
While Euro-CASE believes that research, innovation and technology led by specific mis-sions is a viable way to go ahead it considers a change in the innovation culture and the way entrepreneurial activities are valued in Europe as prerequisites to make Europe the most innovative region in the world. The European Union as well as the Member States should act resolutely in making their innovation systems more competitive. Europe can-not and should not compete on the basis of cheap labour. Therefore, overarching topics such as embracing technological change, driving the next industrial revolution and sup-porting a culture of innovation across both academia and entrepreneurs alike are important steps for Europe’s competitiveness.
In this context, the Euro-CASE Innovation Platform puts forward policy recommendation in the areas of Innovation Procurement, Public-Private-Partnerships in Research and Innovation, Financing Innovation and the Transformation of Manufacturing.
1. Introduction: The importance of innovation for future growth and challenges for the EU
2. The Euro-CASE Innovation Platform – formation and scope
3. Euro-CASE recommendations on EU Innovation Policy