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Policy News July 2004

May 2005

Policy News
 M  E  N  U
   
  Revitalising the Union’s backbone
    Five years on, the goals set by the EU’s leaders in Lisbon in March 2000 are as far from being realised as ever. Over the past 12 months or so, wide-ranging discussions have considered how the Union can more effectively address its targets. The result was the relaunch of the strategy at the March European Council this year, refocusing it on growth and jobs.
 
  New Programmes on the blocks
    Consultations on the EU’s next R&D Framework Programme – the seventh – were launched more than a year ago, but the Commission’s formal proposal for FP7, due to start in 2007, was adopted on 6 April. And alongside this, the Commission also presented proposals for a new Competitiveness and Innovation Programme to run in parallel.
 
  Sharing small business experiences
    Representatives of 34 countries met in Dublin in June 2004 to exchange ideas on good practice for improving the environment for small businesses. The conference focused on three topical areas: access to venture capital and microloans, innovation and technology transfer, and consultation of small businesses.
 
  Patent quality gives more detailed picture
    The raw number of patent applications within a given territory is a widely used measure of innovation, but does it give an accurate picture of firms’ innovative activity? Recent research has developed an index of patent quality which provides a much more detailed impression of innovative activity within an economy, and underlines the differences between industrial sectors.