July 2022 saw the European Commission’s attempt to spearhead what is known as the new innovation wave with its ‘European Innovation Agenda” placing it at the forefront of deep-tech innovation and start-ups
Innovation policy is at the heart of EU initiatives and investments, designed to place Europe as a ‘leading player on the global innovation scene’ the European commission is hoping to develop new tech to address current society’s most pressing challenges.
According to the commission ‘Europe wants to be the place where the best talent works hand in hand with the best companies and where deep-tech innovation thrives and creates breakthrough innovative solutions across the continent that will inspire the world.’
A new wave of deep-tech innovation
There is an immense amount of significance being placed on the new wave of deep-tech innovation – with the hope that deep-tech will reinforce European as tech leaders and therefore push the development of innovative solutions to society’s challenges such as the climate and cyberthreats.
This new agenda could prove valuable for all sectors from renewable energy to agri-tech, construction to health and so much more. The Commission has defined deep-tech as being ‘rooted in cutting edge science, technology and engineering, often combining advances in the physical, biological and digital spheres and with the potential to deliver transformative solutions in the face of global challenges.” They claim that by pushing these deep-tech solutions the EU will gain the potential to ‘drive innovation across the economy’.
The European Innovation Agenda
Building on Europeans’ entrepreneurial mindset, scientific excellence, the strength of the single market and democratic societies, the New Innovation Agenda will in particular:
- Improve access to finance for European start-ups and scale-ups, for example, by mobilising untapped sources of private capital and simplifying listing rules.
- Improve the conditions to allow innovators to experiment with new ideas through regulatory sandboxes.
- Help create “regional innovation valleys” that will strengthen and better connect innovation players through Europe, including in regions lagging behind.
- Attract and retain talent in Europe, for example by training 1 million deep tech talents, increasing support for women innovators and innovating with start-up employees’ stock options;
- Improve the policy framework through clearer terminology, indicators and data sets, as well as policy support to Member States.
According to the commission the New European Innovation Agenda sets out 25 dedicated actions under five flagships:
- Funding Scale-Ups will mobilise institutional and other private investors in Europe to invest in, and benefit from the scaling of European deep-tech start-ups.
- Enabling innovation through experimentation spaces and public procurement will facilitate innovation through improved framework conditions including experimental approaches to regulation (e.g. regulatory sandboxes, test beds, living labs and innovation procurement).
- Accelerating and strengthening innovation in European Innovation Ecosystems across the EU will support the creation of regional innovation valleys and help Member States and regions direct at least EUR 10 billion to concrete interregional innovation projects, including in deep-tech innovation for key EU priorities. It will also support Member States to foster innovation in all regions through the integrated use of cohesion policy and Horizon Europe instruments.
- Fostering, attracting and retaining deep tech talents will ensure the development and flow of essential deep tech talents in and to the EU through a series of initiatives including an innovation intern scheme for startups and scale-ups, an EU talent pool to help startups and innovative businesses find non-EU talent, a women entrepreneurship and leadership scheme and a pioneering work on startup employees’ stock options.
- Improving policy making tools will be the key for development and use of robust, comparable data sets and a shared definitions (startups, scale-up) that can inform policies at all levels across the EU and for ensuring better policy coordination at the European level through the European Innovation Council Forum.
New European Innovation Agenda aims to accelerate the development and scaling up of innovation across the Union
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