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  • Innovation in a knowledge-driven economy. - Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament. - COM(2000) 567 final


The importance of innovation was highlighted by the March 2000 European Council in Lisbon. As a response to the challenges of globalization and the new knowledge-driven economy, the European Council called for a challenging programme for building knowledge infrastructures, enhancing innovation and economic reform, and modernizing social welfare and education systems. This is encapsulated in the strategic goal set at Lisbon for the next decade: the Union to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion.

Innovation must permeate the economy and be embraced by society for the Lisbon goal to be achieved. Innovation is essential for European enterprises to be competitive, and is therefore a major component of enterprise policy, as well as one of the main objectives of research policy.
The Lisbon European Council endorsed the objectives in the European Commission�s Communication "Towards a European Research Area" to enhance the efficiency and innovative impact of Europe�s research effort, and called for concrete steps towards their implementation. Enterprise and research policies are mutually enriching, notably where technology-based innovation is concerned.

This present Communication reviews progress made in the Union to stimulate innovation by enterprises, explores what the new priorities should be, and defines broad policy lines for the next four years.

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