Programme Part 1 – The basis of Innovation Part 2 – Innovation and New Product Development Part 3 – Innovation and Technology development Part 4 – Innovation and Intellectual Property Part 5 – EU Green paper of Innovation Part 6 – Innovation policies in different countries
CORDIS Communnity Research & Development Information Service
On 20 November 1996, the Commission adopted the First Action Plan for Innovation in Europe following the wide ranging public debate stimulated by the Green Paper on Innovation which was launched in December 1995.
The Action Plan provides: – a general framework for action, – support structure for the innovation process. The plan also sets out those measures which are already underway or which have been announced since the launch of the Green Paper.
Three main areas for action have been identified: 1.Fostering an innovation culture 2.Establishing a framework conducive to innovation 3.Gearing research more closely to innovation at both national and Community level
1. Fostering an innovation culture education and training, easier mobility for researchers and engineers, demonstration of effective approaches to innovation in the economy and in society, propagation of best management and organizational methods amongst businesses, stimulation of innovation in the public sector and in government
2. Establishing a framework conducive to innovation adaptation and simplification of the legal and regulatory environment, especially with respect to Intellectual Property Rights, providing easier access to finance for innovative enterprises
3. Gearing research more closely to innovation Gearing research more closely to innovation at both national and Community level: –as far as action at the Community level is concerned, the Commission proposes to establish within the Fifth Framework a single, simplified horizontal framework for integrating "innovation" and "SME" dimensions. –Outside of the Framework Programme, all Community instruments are to be mobilized to support innovation.
At the Community level as well, actions are currently undertaken which favour innovation, including: –the establishment and development of Economic and Monetary Union –the consolidation of the internal market –an effective competition policy –the promotion of the information society –the policies on research, education and training and the disseminationof results which are moving forward and include significant efforts to streamline procedures and involve SMEs.
The fundamental objectives to pursue are the following: –Better direct research efforts towards innovation –Reinforce human resources for innovation. –Improve the conditions for the financing of innovation. –Foster a legal and regulatory environment favourable to innovation. –Adapt the role and the modalities of public action regarding innovation.
Better direct research efforts towards innovation. For that purpose, action is needed with an aim to: –increase the capacity to anticipate technical evolution, markets and competitors, i.e. technology monitoring and foresight (route of action 1) and "economic intelligence" actions (route of action 12) –develop research efforts, in particular those in firms, and their co-ordination (as in the research-industry Task Force). Projects and programmes should also be assessed, with particular regard to their relevance for innovation (route of action 2) –facilitate social acceptance of new technologies and change (route of action 5)
Reinforce human resources for innovation. This implies in particular: –developing formal and vocational training. Ongoing training in companies, especially SMEs, the recognition of skills acquired "on-the-job", closer links between education institutions and businesses (route of action 3) –encouraging the mobility of students and researchers, not only within the Community, but also within each country, between universities or research centres and companies (route of action 4)
Improve the conditions for the financing of innovation. To that effect, it is important to: –mobilise private capital for innovation, and in particular, for new technology based firms (route of action 6), and –define the means by which Member States can establish a fiscal regime beneficial to innovation (route of action 7)
Foster a legal and regulatory environment favourable to innovation. –In some cases this means adapting existing regulations (administrative streamlining, legal ways of co-operation for example). In other cases it is merely a question of publicising the regulations and the possibilities they offer (standards, intellectual and industrial property, competition) and promoting their use (routes of action 8, 9 and 10)
Adapt the role and the modalities of public action regarding innovation. This means in particular: –a vigorous action to promote innovation and the absorption of new technologies in SMEs. Public intervention must then beclose to SMEs. It is therefore relevant to reinforce the regional dimension of innovation (route of action 12) –a commitment to simplifying administrative procedures, and to streamlining administrative formalities (route of action 9) –a series of actions to insure the coherence and the co- ordination of public interventions and private efforts, foster dialogue and consensus building, and support the dissemination of good practices (route of action 13).
Innovation is vital. It allows individual and collective needs to be better satisfied: –health, –leisure, –working conditions, –transport … It is also central to the spirit of enterprise: every new enterprise is created through a process which is to some extent innovative.
The purpose of the Green paper is to stimulate a wide-ranging debate on this themes among the various actors in private and public organisations in the regions and the Member States. The objective is to elicit a common view and to mobilise every effort towards a purpose which is critical for the future of Europe and its people.