The European Innovation Council (EIC), the European Commission instrument to support top-class innovators, entrepreneurs, small companies and scientists all around Europe, organised a major event on February 18th entitled A robust innovation Ecosystem for the Future of Europe. This event was organised as a part of the European Commission’s strategy to improve innovation ecosystems’ connectiveness within the 3rd Pillar of the Horizon Europe programme, “Innovative Europe”. The Conference included the participation of Luigi Amati, President of Metagroup, representatives from ACCIO, from the development agency of Ljubljana Urban Region, from ICE Castilla y Leon, from Bretagne Development Innovation, from Si-Mo-Ra, from ADR Nord Est and from INFO Murcia.

Many of our members contributed actively during the online consultation process and during the various workshops organised by the EU Commission (one of them, the one aimed at economic development practitioners, co-organised by EURADA). Their practical views were useful by the experts of the European Commission to prepare the next call for proposals to connect regional innovation ecosystems in the framework of the European Innovation Council of the Horizon Europe programme for 2021-2027. Development agencies are key leading drivers in any innovation ecosystem. They have a facilitator role by providing access to finance, internationalisation of regional companies, transference of knowledge and cooperation among different actors.

The secretariat of EURADA carried out a synthetic position paper that recommends specific actions and concrete examples about how to dynamise innovation ecosystems. Following the examples of developed innovation ecosystems in Emilia-Romagna, Business Upper Austria and Basque country, the European development agencies consider that it should reinforce the active policies supporting innovation in SMEs, foster related diversification in ecosystems and implement policies with a long-term perspective. You can download the article in PDF