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An innovation strategy for Europe?

With the Finland’s EU Presidency coming to an end, one of its key priorities has been in the limelight: enhancing innovation policy. On 4th December, the EU Competitiveness Council, based on some recent initiatives (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, October 2006), approved 9 strategic priorities for an EU innovation policy:
  • Protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), including patents;
  • Enhancing European standard-setting systems;
  • Making public procurement work for innovation;
  • Launching Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs);
  • Boosting innovation and growth in lead markets;
  • Strengthening cooperation between research institutions and industry;
  • Promoting innovation in regions;
  • Developing policies to support innovation in services and non-technological innovation;
  • Development of risk capital markets.
The strategic priorities (and reporting on their progress) will be integrated into the Community Lisbon Programme. The development of concrete strategies and proposals for the different priorities is expected from the European Commission throughout 2007. The Council recommends that special emphasis should be placed on benchmarking of innovation policies at EU level against those followed in other world regions. This comprises public funding measures for research, development and innovation. The Council intends to monitor the progress of the strategic priorities and hold a strategic debate on an annual basis. A preparatory body shall be assigned with  co-ordinating tasks of this reviewing progress. Competitiveness Council Conclusions on a Broad-Based Innovation Strategy