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Major Innovation Push Before the Spring Council


The EU’s innovation information channel CORDIS reveals today the new thinking on innovation policy by the European Commission. Ahead of the Spring European Council (20-21 March 2003), CORDIS is publishing the new Innovation Policy Communication, adopted yesterday by the Commission. The Communication launches a new vision for EU’s innovation policy and gives a new impetus to the drive of making Europe the world’s most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy by 2010. It calls for broadening the scope beyond technological innovation towards organisational, presentational and business model innovation, which need to be imbedded at European, national and regional policy level.

CORDIS ( is the gateway to all ongoing policy initiatives, which promote innovation at the EU level and are featured in the Commission’s policy document:

CORDIS also features the practical innovation initiatives, such as the Gate to Growth business portal for financing innovation, the Pilot Action for Excellence on Innovative Start-ups (PAXIS), opting for a virtual Silicon Valley among the most successful EU regions in the creation and growth of innovative start-ups, as well as the Innovation Relay Centres network, providing firms with a local starting point for international technology transfer. It offers also a B2B virtual Technology Marketplace service for business opportunities from EU-funded and other research.

While these activities are financed under the EU budget for research and technological development, as part of the new vision proposed by the Commission their scope will be enlarged further beyond R&D based innovation.

One example is the CORDIS National Research and Innovation Information Service (, provided jointly with the authorities responsible for research and innovation in the EU Member States. Designed to promote their initiatives to a wider European audience, these services could also offer a knowledge-sharing platform for public administrators in the spirit of co-ordinating national innovation policies. The need for such co-ordination in the EU context, which can make Europe’s diversity a strength, is one of the main messages emerging from the new Innovation Policy Communication.

The Communication also calls for making EU policies more innovation-friendly for meeting the challenges resulting from the EU’s inadequate innovation performance, the impact of its enlargement and skills shortages in many sectors.

CORDIS News ( will feature the stakeholder debate on the new Innovation Policy Communication, organised by the Commission and taking place in Brussels on 13 March 2003.

Watch out also for a press release on the 2002 Innobarometer (an opinion poll, involving more than 3000 company managers in the 15 EU Member States).

Virginia Mercouri | CORDIS
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