Today (October 6) the European Commission launched its Innovation Union communication and announced the initial projects under its Innovation Partnership initiative at a joint press conference with Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and Vice President Antonio Tajani (below) in Brussels.
The Innovation Union Communication sets out a strategic approach to innovation with high-level political support that will focus the EU's efforts on challenges such as climate change, energy and food security.
A key element will be European Innovation Partnerships that will mobilise a wide spectrum of stakeholders to tackle societal challenges where Europe has the potential to become a world leader.
A pilot Partnership on active and healthy aging will be launched in early 2011. More Partnerships will follow in areas such as energy, "smart" cities and mobility, water efficiency, non-energy raw materials and sustainable and productive agriculture.
SusChem with the chemical, biotechnolology and process industries is looking forward to playing a significant part in the successful development of this initiative and is ready and willing to contribute to and, where appropriate, lead Innovation Partnerships with other sectors and societal stakeholders.
Chemical innovation is key to meeting the major challenges of modern societies. Innovation driven by Europe’s chemical industry is helping to ensure further progress in people’s quality of life.
SusChem - Your innovation partner
SusChem has already established a number of significant collaborative research initiatives that will contribute to innovative new products and processes. Personalised Healthcare and Quality of Life were specific focus areas in the original SusChem Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) and subsequent Implementation Action Plan (IAP).
SusChem, with the support of the chemical industry, has already proposed a number of possible topics for Innovation Partnerships in areas that are essential to the EU2020 Strategy such as resource efficiency, sustainable mobility, construction and low carbon society. SusChem has a excellent track record of working with other key players and technology platforms along the value chain.
“Innovation is about exploiting knowledge and ideas for the benefit of society,” said Rodney Townsend, recent Chairman of the SusChem board. “SusChem greatly supports the establishment of Innovation Partnerships, in parallel with a comprehensive European research policy, as key to the future competitiveness of Europe.”
“To achieve the integrated sustainable solutions that society desires will require working along the full value chain concurrently. This means that to speed up innovation in Europe, innovation must be simultaneously started at various stages in the value chain. This can create a competitive edge by reducing time-to-market and ensuring the end results delivered to society are comprehensive, practical solutions,” Townsend continues. “Successful societal implementation needs an integrated approach using innovative business models that include non-technology and governance contributions. Collaboration between different industry sectors is the only way forward and the chemical industry is ready to take the lead to tackle societal challenges.”
Other elements of the Innovation Union - a flagship of the Europe 2020 Strategy - include the establishment of an Innovation Union Scoreboard, new measures to improve access to finance, a stepping up of existing research initiatives, a major research programme on public sector and social innovation, dedicated budgets for public procurement of innovative products and services, and the modernisation of Europe's intellectual property regime amongst ten main elements.
Further details can be found at the EU's Innovation Union website.