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New innovation plans will help secure Europe’s climate-neutral dream

The first-ever European Innovation Area (EIA) Summit, organised by Knowledge4Innovation, will take place this month in the European Parliament in Brussels – and online, from 27 to 29 June. 

Coinciding with the unveiling of the European Commission’s New European Innovation Agenda, the Summit will help launch a new and dynamic era of innovation in Europe – one dedicated to delivering the world’s first climate-neutral continent.

Because the European Union’s ambition to become the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050 will hinge on its ability to scale innovations that can accelerate the journey to net-zero. 

Which will rely on innovation being given the freedom to do its thing.

Creating the space for this freedom is the goal of those pushing for the creation of a European Innovation Area, to develop an ecosystem Dr Roland Strauss, co-founder of the K4I Forum in the European Parliament, says can be a “single market for innovation” geared to delivering a net-zero Europe.

“The EIA initiative is about strengthening innovation ecosystems at the local, regional and national levels and better connecting them across Europe,” Dr Strauss says. “What we want in essence is a single market for innovation that can accelerate the types of solutions we need to become a climate-neutral continent by 2050.”

The Summit will bring together the MEPs, innovators, academics, corporations, organisations and startups with the biggest stake in ensuring the European Innovation Area is a success.

“By taking a decentralised co-creation approach we can develop a European Innovation Area which offers equal access to funding and where startups in one country can easily bid for public contracts in another,” explains European Commissioner, Mariya Gabriel, who will give a keynote at the EIA Summit. “Where startups and corporates work more closely together and where we have strong European associations bringing together all the actors of the European innovation ecosystems. I want us to achieve this and to nurture a networking culture fit for the 21st century, where all players are able to easily connect at a local and European

At the Summit K4I will present The European Innovation Area Manifesto, which coalesces around 8 focus areas designed to accelerate ‘Europe’s transition toward a single European innovation ecosystem’. It has been developed with input from the K4I Forum Chair, MEP Maria da Graça Carvalho, other K4I Forum political members, EIT KICs, European Partnerships, universities, innovation support organisations, as well as European Commissioner, Mariya Gabriel.

The Summit programme will lean on the EIA manifesto and its 8 Focus Areas, which align with the Commission’s vision for transforming the continent’s innovation ecosystem.

The 8 Focus Areas are: Tech Sovereignty; Green transition; From Education to Entrepreneurship; Fostering Innovation Cohesion; Europe’s Deep Tech Opportunity; Women-led VCs and Startups; Regulating Emerging Technologies; Financing Innovation and New Technologies.

Those attending the Summit will have the chance to define the role innovation plays in shaping the future of Europe. And there is an open invite to anyone who wants to be part of this.

“I invite you to be a big part of this journey towards creating a European Innovation Area,” Dr Strauss adds. “And the simplest way you can do it is by going to our event website and signing the EIA Manifesto, as this will secure your invitation to the Summit.”

Go to the event website for details of how to get involved with the inaugural EIA Summit, organised by K4I, taking place in the European Parliament in Brussels – and online, from 27-29 June.

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The Knowledge4Innovation Forum in the European Parliament celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2024. The place for debate on the future of innovation in Europe, it is an open, independent, non-profit platform with a wide variety of stakeholders including regions, cities and universities, research organisations, trade organisations, think tanks, technology platforms, and companies of all sizes. Its activities mainly take place in the environment of the EU institutions, and the K4I Forum has a strong foothold and presence in the European Parliament. Within the activities of the K4I Forum in the European Parliament, supported by 40 MEPs, it has organised more than 500 debates and 15 successful European Innovation Summit events.


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