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Joint conclusions: Eureka and the European Commission – enhancing European innovation ecosystems

Overall summary

In line with the Madrid Ministerial Communiqué, June 2017, Eureka and the European Commission have been mutually committed to optimising cooperation in innovation policy and programmes to streamline and strengthen the evolving innovation ecosystem for all innovation actors. Together they aim to foster innovation through well-targeted support for businesses, particularly SMEs, and to enable them to successfully enter global markets.

In this regard, a joint high-level Working Group convened by the Finnish (2017/18) and UK (2018/19) Chairs has concluded its initial work to enhance synergy and cooperation between Eureka and the European Commission. The launch of both Invest Horizon and Innowwide as well as the continued implementation of the Eurostars programme have contributed to a more coherent and effective ecosystem for innovative companies, as result of the fruitful cooperation between Eureka and the European Commission. Future potential areas of cooperation have been identified and will continue to be reviewed and explored.   

Guiding principles

The following agreed principles of cooperation have underpinned the collaboration so far:

  • Added value of the cooperation to Eureka members and the European Union, building on complementarities to achieve mutual benefit in areas of strategic priority for both Parties;
  • Clear visibility of the cooperation and joint activities with innovators and support actors and promotion of respective impacts;
  • Amplification of the constituent parts of the innovation ecosystem and simplification where practical, avoiding overlap where needed;
  • Innovation is a fast moving and dynamic field requiring Eureka and the European Commission to harness their respective strengths to respond in agile and flexible manner to new and emerging opportunities for potential cooperation.

Achievements and future strategic actions

Through Invest Horizon, Eureka and the European Commission aim to jointly offer a single integrated accompanying measures service accessible for innovative EUREKA and EU businesses in 2019-2021. Building on lessons learned, there is potential to work on enhancing this cooperation on accompanying measures within Horizon Europe.

A joint initiative to support global innovation collaboration could be explored, developing potentially from the EU funded Innowwide action and the Eureka Globalstars instrument.

An ambitious ‘Eurostars 3’ programme is intended to be the flagship joint programme between Eureka and the EU- as a key funding mechanism for innovative European SMEs in complement to the European Innovation Council.

Promoting and communicating complementary innovation tools, initiatives, calls and funding opportunities to ensure Eureka, Horizon Europe and joint actions are clear and visible to innovators and support actors should be explored.

Throughout Horizon 2020, Horizon Europe and beyond, Eureka and the European Commission envisage continuing to work as partners for supporting bi- and multilateral cross-border innovation programmes between innovative SMEs on one hand and with large businesses and knowledge institutes on the other hand to explore new cooperation opportunities.

In the spirit of a living and agile partnership, the Eureka Chair and the European Commission will continue to meet regularly (at a minimum annually) to exchange views on innovation policy, new initiatives and developments and explore areas for potential cooperation.