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Debating Innovation: Conferences to discuss Commission Green Paper

The European Commission is organizing a series of conferences, to be held in all European Union Member States, plus Iceland and Norway, to fuel debate on the recently-published Green Paper on Innovation.

The conferences will provide an opportunity for local participants in th...

15 April 1996 - 15 April 1996
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The European Commission is organizing a series of conferences, to be held in all European Union Member States, plus Iceland and Norway, to fuel debate on the recently-published Green Paper on Innovation.

The conferences will provide an opportunity for local participants in the Innovation process, particularly businesses, to make their views known. Comments and opinions arising from the conferences, together with other reactions to the Green Paper, will be taken into account by the Commission in the formulation of an action plan.

All seventeen conferences will be held during the next few weeks, so that their conclusions will be available by the 10 May deadline set by the Commission for reactions to the Green Paper. Each conference will follow a standard format in order to facilitate the collection and comparison of conclusions (see details in text field of this article).

At the core of this format is a series of six parallel sessions, corresponding to the six themes emerging from the Green Paper as critical if Europe is to be more successful at creating new products and improving market share. Participants can join the session which interests them most. The six themes are:

- Improve the direction of research effort towards the needs of innovation;
- Reinforce human resources for innovation;
- Improve the conditions for financing of innovation;
- Foster a legal and regulatory environment favourable to innovation;
- Promote innovation and absorption of new technologies by SMEs, in particular at regional level;
- Adapt the role and modalities of public action regarding innovation.

The innovation issue is expected to be raised by European Commission President, Jacques Santer, at the European Council to be held in Florence, Italy, on 21-22 June 1996. The Council of Research Ministers will also have an opportunity to see the Commission's outline plans at its meeting in June 1996. A more detailed plan of action will be drawn up by the Commission during the second half of the year.

The Green Paper is currently being examined by the different EU institutions: the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers of the European Union, the Economic and Social Committee, and the Committee of the Regions. In each institution, the Green Paper is first examined in detail by one or more standing committee(s), which then prepare the way for the institution's final "opinion".

Opinions have already been received by the Commission from some of Europe's best-known companies. Many more opinions are expected in the period running up to the 10 May deadline, from all the different players in the innovation process. The views of SMEs are being solicited, given the importance of this sector in Europe's industrial structure.
Copies of the Green Paper on Innovation are available in all official languages of the European Union, as Supplement No 5/95 to the "Bulletin of the European Union". This may be obtained (Price ECU 7) from:

The sales and subscription office in your country (see RTD-News RCN 3970)

or

Office for Official Publications of the European Communities
2 rue Mercier
L-2985 Luxembourg
Fax +352-488573

The Green Paper may also be downloaded, in all the EU official languages, from the World Wide Web at,:

http://cordis.europa.eu/cordis/grnpaper.htm

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