The Europe INNOVA Initiative
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Europe INNOVA is an initiative for innovation professionals
supported by the European Commission under the 6th Framework Programme. The fundamental objectives of this initiative fall in line with the policy direction set out within the FP6 priority of “Structuring the European Research Area”. More specifically, Europe INNOVA aspires to inform, assist, mobilise and network the key stakeholders in the field of entrepreneurial innovations such as European citizens, firms’ managers, policy makers, clusters’ managers, investors and relevant associations.
Europe INNOVA adopts a sector-based approach that is strategically designed to identify and analyse the leverages and barriers to innovation within specific sectors. It is intended that this approach will lead to sound and targeted policy measures. Furthermore, the sector-based approach will activate cooperation between business clusters in Europe through the establishment of networks between clusters that operate in the same or different domains. Through such cooperation it is envisaged that existing clusters will adopt “outward looking” approaches by establishing learning platforms between them for exchanging experiences, information, good practices and knowledge.
Europe INNOVA builds upon Gate2Growth and further develops the approach of networking innovation players, by combining analytical expertise with grass roots experience. Europe INNOVA will bring together more than 230 contractors from 23 Member States, and is currently composed of the elements depicted in the diagram below.
Europe INNOVA goes public!
Europe INNOVA, the flagship initiative driving European innovation, is placing its activities in the spotlight with a new web portal. This will provide policy makers, innovation intermediaries and enterprises with an insight into sectoral innovation analysis and networking in Europe.
The portal will present the work and results of Europe INNOVA projects and networks in areas such as cluster management, standards and financing and managing innovation. A Sectoral Innovation Watch contains analyses for more than ten industrial sectors. News and events services and an interactive discussion forum will inform and involve users in efforts to stimulate innovation in Europe.
Europe INNOVA portal
The Sectoral Innovation Watch analyses innovation performance in 10 industrial sectors (biotechnology, ICT, energy, automotive, food/drink, space, textile, chemicals, machinery/equipment). Companies in different industrial sectors follow different innovation patterns, for instance, non-technological innovation is more important in services sectors than in manufacturing. The Sectoral Innovation Watch will seek to understand this kind of sector specificity in innovation behaviour with the aim of providing an analytical arm towards shaping future innovation policy.
Sector Innovation Panels aim to provide important feedback from innovating businesses on innovation drivers and barriers inhibiting innovation. These panels shall be composed of industry experts on innovation and will serve to complement the analytical findings of the Sectoral Innovation Watch. To this extent, they will engage in the formulation of policy recommendations. Two of the panels will provide recommendations on global gazelles (high growth SMEs) and on eco-innovation.
Innovation Finance Networks aim to strengthen the currently poor access to finance for innovative companies as this problem serves as a common obstacle to innovation in most sectors. The Networks will bring together entrepreneurs, incubators and the financial community in different sectors to analyse innovation finance needs, develop new tools for innovation finance and draw policy recommendations.
Cluster Networks is a pilot action devised to provide better innovation management tools in the face of growing international competition. These Clusters, often regarded as hotspots for innovation, will aim to use their strategic location to build platforms for sharing analyses and the transfer of good practice in cluster management.
The Innovation Management project will attempt to provide new tools for SMEs aimed at getting innovative start-ups off the ground. This project attempts to make the growing incubation business more professional through employing new tools for innovation management that include self-assessment for SMEs as well as the certification of innovation capabilities.
Standards are to be considered a catalyst for innovation. They play a crucial role in the definition of market conditions throughout many industrial sectors and effectively they serve to accelerate technological and organisational change. To improve innovation performance through the use of standards a series of Coordinated Actions will be launched. These will aim to: facilitate the integration of open standards into the design of new products and services; facilitate the integration of open standards into business practices; stimulate innovation through reference to standards in procurement. A Specific Support Action will also be launched to ensure a proper coordination amongst the three networks and to disseminate the results to a broader audience.
In preparation of policy initiatives designed to foster competitiveness and innovation, the Innovation Mapping scheme provides a specific study set to map and analyse the evolution of existing and emerging clusters in Europe. The proposed study will create a consistent set of data and apply the same methodology throughout the EU-25. The study will enhance our understanding of the role that clusters play in strengthening innovation performance.
This is a central service designed to coordinate and disseminate information through producing information brochures, news letter etc.
The Europe INNOVA Forum is a web-based forum that will be launched to support and contribute towards the Europe INNOVA as well as other initiatives related to innovation. The ambition of this initiative is to develop Europe INNOVA into the focal point for sector specific innovation initiatives and projects in Europe.