The need for global collaboration
Research and innovation (R&I) are an increasingly global and collaborative endeavour, with access to knowledge, markets, skills and partners needed on a global basis. International collaboration in research and innovation is essential to enable companies not only to access knowledge and capability globally, but also to significantly improve their access to foreign markets through collaboration. With the growing importance of the global market for national economies and European competitiveness, there is an increased need for cooperation on a global scale. Accordingly, to enable this, there is a need for a complementary support offer to innovators on a national, European and global level.
The future innovation landscape
In recognition of this, EUREKA welcomes proposals to maintain an innovation focus in FP9, including those proposed under the label “European Innovation Council”. EUREKA supports recommendations from the ‘Lamy report’1 and the High-Level Group of Innovators2 to rationalise the funding landscape, better align EU and national R&I investment and amplify existing innovation ecosystems. EUREKA is importantly positioned to bridge the gap in the European innovation landscape between decentralised nationally driven initiatives and the centralised EU Framework Programmes and to boost the development of connections globally to facilitate R&I collaboration.
EUREKA’s distinctive offer
EUREKA, established in 1985, is the largest network of national ministries and funding agencies implementing innovation programmes. The reason why EUREKA is uniquely placed to play this role is through its following key characteristics:
- A long established effective, trusted and valued framework, with a proven track record of enabling bi/multilateral collaboration in a variable geometry, not easily or efficiently replicated nationally or at the EU level;
- Leverages national funding and pools resources to address common problems/opportunities as identified by innovation agencies;
- The ability to act in a flexible, agile and responsive manner. Its bottom-up approach meets industry needs; offering a range of interventions to drive innovation and growth, in particular by supporting collaboration between industry, SME’s, start-ups and knowledge institutes;
- A global outreach using fit-for-purpose instruments enabling partnering with non- EUREKA-member countries and members from 40 countries and 5 continents, extending beyond European borders;
- Closely interacts and aligns with businesses and research organisations through national funding agencies, which are close to the customer, providing the ability to identify among other those businesses with high potential to scale up and who can best benefit from further support;
- Links to investors through European and national frameworks for follow-on-funding.
EUREKA is committed to increasing the competitiveness and innovation capacity of businesses, particularly high growth potential SMEs. It has clear advantages in its bottom-up, close-to-market industry-led cooperation structures that facilitate cross-border innovation, international cooperation and contributes directly to the growth of national economies.
Partner of choice ready to act
The unique characteristics outlined make the EUREKA framework ideally positioned to act as an independent collaborative platform and partner to both national agencies and the European Commission, while playing a key role complementing support offered at both national and EU level and increasingly at a global level. Thus, EUREKA provides an efficient way of conducting European and global collaboration without further complicating the funding landscape or the associated administrative requirements.
EUREKA proposes to continue to share expertise, co-develop, and join forces with the European Commission in order to address the challenges faced by innovative companies. This will improve the holistic support offered to SMEs through FP9 and complement it, where appropriate.