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Europe’s new ambition for innovation and deep tech talent

Designed in consultation with multiple innovation stakeholders, including universities, the New Innovation Agenda, issued by the European Commission on 5 July, builds on the prior significant work to help accelerate digital and green transition. It includes 25 dedicated actions under five flagships aiming to:

  • 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;
  • 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; and
  • Improve the policy framework through clearer terminology, indicators and data sets, as well as policy support to members.

Regarding nurturing deep tech talents, several actions are foreseen:

  • The update and scale up of the talent and skills development programmes managed by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) based on the needs of deep tech fields ranging from new materials and synthetic biology to cleantech;
  • The launch of an innovation intern scheme by the EIT and the European Innovation Council (EIC) in the third quarter of 2023 to create opportunities for over 600 researchers and EIT labeled students and graduates to gain an innovation experience by 2024;
  • Additional training support to higher education institutions (HEIs), including European Universities Alliances, businesses and research and innovation centres, through the Digital Europe programme to train specialists in data science, artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity and quantum;
  • The design and launch of an EU Talent Pool to help European businesses and startups to find talents outside the EU labour market, which will increase the mobility of skilled individuals towards and within Europe through international recruitment. It will also support matchmaking between EU-based employers and qualified nationals of non-EU countries wishing to work and move legally to the EU based on the Students and Researchers Directive and the revised EU Blue Card Directive; and
  • The relaunch of discussions with member states and other relevant stakeholders to assess the scope for further EU-level action targeting the admission of entrepreneurs and startup founders from third countries.

Other measures particularly relevant for HEIs include:

  • Support for the development of entrepreneurial skills with a particular focus on deep tech skills through the Erasmus+ Alliances for Innovation starting from 2023, to complement the development of incubators within HEIs, in close cooperation with the entrepreneurial sector, to help student entrepreneurs turn their ideas into businesses, as announced in the European strategy for universities.
  • The creation of communities of expert facilitators, including the European Universities Alliances, to increase collaboration between industry, academia and research organisations.

Read the full document here.