The annual European Innovation Summit celebrated its tenth anniversary in Brussels during the last week of November.
Spearheaded by Knowledge4Innovation (K4I), the summit has grown to become the continent’s premier cross-sector industry and policy event focused on generating new ideas and connections linked to frontier impact innovations, especially emerging technologies with the potential to accelerate Europe towards a sustainable future. Held in the European Parliament, it brings together policymakers, industry leaders, academics and early stage businesses united in their desire to push boundaries and shift paradigms in their common quest to keep Europe at the forefront of efforts to build a better world.
This anniversary event entitled ‘Europe – A Global Leader in Science, Technology and Innovation’ was launched by Jerzy Buzek MEP and K4I Chair, Ivana Maletic MEP, followed by a high-level dinner with keynote from Gunther H Oettinger, Commissioner for Budget & Human Resources.
Three days of diverse debates have focused around subjects such as the role of data; the synthetic cell revolution; electromobility; robotics and artificial intelligence. Conference sessions took place around policy areas such as Horizon Europe; Cohesion Policy and looking to the past and future of innovation policy. All have challenged thinking and created connections for furthering innovation impact in Europe.
Research and innovation are undoubtedly the driving forces for growth, jobs and well-being, and the new Multi-annual Financial Framework, Horizon Europe – and related programmes, like Digital Europe, will set the continent’s direction for the next decade. The summit is a vital piece of the jigsaw, providing impetus, signposting stakeholders to key opportunities, and creating a pan-European voice for innovation.
“This anniversary European Innovation Summit discussed the future with the people creating it: industry, R&I actors, innovators, citizens, policymakers, investors, and for the first time, a selection of Young Innovation Leaders. As part of the second edition of the EUTOP50 Founders and Tech Festival, which runs alongside the summit, we launched a new mentorship programme for a selection of promising startups that applied during the EUTOP50 competition,” said Roland Strauss, Managing Director, K4I.
On advancing Europe’s innovation agenda over the 10 years, he said: “For Europe to remain globally competitive, we must always be a world capital of innovation, so let’s take another important step in this ongoing pursuit by delivering Europe’s Single Market for Innovation. To do that we must create better synergies between our human capital and financial assets. We must also support Europe’s innovation leaders to scale-up quickly at the global level. The challenge is not only to develop world class technologies but also keep the business and talent in Europe. The European Innovation Summit has always been an occasion to progress these ideas.”
Through its work and activities year-round, K4I provides momentum across Europe to advance these goals, and it is now on a mission to work with others to grow the relatively new EUTOP50 into a world- leading platform for young pioneers.
“As the leading innovation platform in the environment of the European institutions, Knowledge4Innovation is making an urgent call to establish a group of leading innovation actors – technical universities and research institutions, venture capital and private equity investors, angel and alternative investors, Corporate Venture organizations (CVC), Family offices and incubators/accelerators. In order to jointly advance the innovation agenda on a pan-European level we need to ensure that our excellent knowledge base is put to work and that it enables talented young innovators and entrepreneurs that can help Europe to stay globally competitive,” added Roland.