8th European Innovation Summit – Future now!
Brussels, 14 to 18 November 2016. From Monday through Friday more than 800 participants discussed the future of innovation in Europe at the heart of Brussels decision making: recurring key words included urgency and speed, education and talent, disruption and breakthroughs, communication and citizens, digital and internet, cities and innovation hubs, privacy and security, innovation policies and regulatory environment, public and private funding, infrastructure and in particular transport, sustainability and responsibility, cross-sector collaboration and breaking silos, investor confidence and scale-up, mid-term review and impact etc. etc.
The atmosphere during the 8th European innovation summit ‘Future now!’ was marked by an unprecedented sense of urgency requiring new innovation approaches that provide short term demonstrable impact and tangible benefits for EU citizens.
Prof. Jerzy Buzek, Vice-Chair of the Knowledge4Innovation Forum not only underlined the expectations of European citizens for innovative solutions but was emphasising the need to give ‘hope’ for the future in a time of growing instability in Europe and beyond. And Lambert van Nistelrooij, Chairman of the K4I Forum, made it clear that innovation is about the jobs of tomorrow helping to keep Europe alive and globally competitive. K4I President Gernot Klotz focused on the global context and the need for Europe to provide those solutions and technology building blocks where Europe can gain clear benefits, create jobs and improve its trade balance.
Markku Markkula, President of the Committee of the Regions stated that "Europe is confronted with societal challenges, which are timely and relevant for our discussions on the mid-term review and post-2020 preparations. The much needed changes, already agreed in the Pact for Innovation, concern simplification, enhanced partnerships and supporting ecosystem-thinking: they must be implemented now. The CoR is calling for Europe's pioneering regions to be forerunners to show us all the way ahead.”
From the side of the Commission, emphasis was put on the need to review the European education system enabling young people to find jobs in the future (Commissioner Tibor Navracsics), the prospects of an overhaul of Cohesion Policy in order to enhance the support for innovation at regional and city levels (Commissioner Corinna Creţu), the close link between digitisation and innovation and its relevance for all sectors including farming (Commissioner Günther Oettinger) and last but not least the importance of the mid-term report of Horizon 2020 in particular with a view to the post 2020 preparations (Commissioner Carlos Moedas).
The ‘Pact for Innovation’ stakeholder signing ceremony and the discussions during the bi-annual INPACT meeting was yet another highlight of the K4I Forum annual conference.
All participants agreed on the necessity to improve the communication between science and the general public. The need to better connect citizens and science was underlined throughout the conference.