MACRON GIVES SUPPORT TO EU AGENCY FOR DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION

French President Emmanuel Macron, in a much anticipated speech on future reform of the European Union given at the University of the Sorbonne in Paris on 26 September, gave his support to the creation of an EU agency for disruptive innovation, which very much echoes EU Commissioner for Research Carlos Moedas’s own plan for a European Innovation Council.

“Let us create within two years a European agency for innovation, to be in the position of innovator and not of follower,” Mr Macron said before going on to explain “the challenge is to make Europe a champion in digital, artificial intelligence and biotech. If we can do this, we will become a reference model and it will help Europe keep up with the pace of technological discovery in China and the US.” Commissioner Moedas was reported to be delighted that his proposed EIC figured so prominently in the French President’s speech.

Amongst his proposals to put Europe more centre stage in the lives of ordinary Europeans, Mr Macron also advocated  opening up the Erasmus student-exchange programme to non-students. “By 2024, at least half of all young people in Europe should spend six months in another EU country – student or not,” the President said. He also declared himself in favour of creating 20 new “European universities” by 2024, which would be formed by building networks of existing universities that offer new EU-wide diplomas. The European university would require students to take lessons in at least two languages and spend part of their time studying abroad.

In a fiercely pro-European speech, the French President came out in favour of a dozen or so proposals to strengthen the image and functioning of the European Union, including military exchanges between all member states, the introduction of a financial transaction tax that would fund development aid, a minimum carbon price of between €25 and €30 per tonne, a carbon border tax, a revision of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and greater harmonisation of tax policies so that digital giants like Facebook and Apple can expect to be taxed where they make their money rather than where they are registered.

Mr Macron’s speech in full can be read (en français) at https://ue.delegfrance.org/souverainete-unite-et-democratie

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“MOONSHOTS” CHARACTERIZE THE NEW FP9 FOR RESEARCH AND INNOVATION

The new jargon being used in Brussels to etch out the first features of the new Framework Programme 9, to start in 2021, is the word “moonshots”.  It originates  from the speech by US President John F. Kennedy in 1961, who called for a space programme which could land the first man on the moon — a goal that was achieved eight years later. The plan is to include up to 10 new research moonshots in FP9 which will help the public at large to connect with the EU’s research and innovation programme and understand more fully the benefits that it brings to Europe’s citizens.

Some of the themes which were already mooted in the recent report on FP9 by  former EU trade Commissioner and former head of the World Trade Organization, Pascal Lamy, include achieving a plastic litter-free Europe by 2030; understanding the brain by 2030; producing steel with zero carbon in Europe by 2030; and ensuring the survival of three out of four cancer patients by 2034. Other possible topics include flighting obesity and finding a cure for dementia. The European Commission will launch shortly a public consultation to identify other ambitious research goals which could feature high in the EU research agenda from 2021.

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GLOBAL CATALYSTS: THE WORLD’S MOST INNOVATIVE CITIES

In a recent article in Trend Alert, Tim Jones published the results of two years of research into which cities are the most innovative, comparing those from yesterday and today and proposing a list of tomorrow’s most likely candidates.

Cities are where innovation happens, where most ideas form and economic growth largely stems. They are also where significant problems can first emerge and where challenges are magnified. Cities grow because they are a focus for opportunity and, as dynamic centres of commerce, culture and knowledge, they are magnets for all walks of life, frequently attracting the best minds.

From an analysis of the most innovative cities of past and present, the authors have distilled what they see as the ten most important ingredients for being a world-leading innovative city:

  1. Open and tolerant society
  2. Collaborative and supportive
  3. Global talent magnet
  4. Access to capital
  5. Advancing public health
  6. Leading centre of learning
  7. Connectedness and influence
  8. Flexible and adaptable
  9. Centre of technology creation
  10. Visionary civic leadership

Based on the above criteria, the authors identified and profiled the ten cities from the past that drove the greatest change and offer important insights on how and why they developed, evolved, drove innovation and gained global influence. They are: Alexandria, Amsterdam, Athens, Constantinople, Florence, Hangzouh, Hong Kong, Paris, Varanasi and Venice. Today’s top ten most innovative cities are all leading in different ways, but share many common features. They are: Bengaluru, Boston, London, Munich, San Francisco, Seoul, Singapore, Stockholm, Tel Aviv and Tokyo.

The authors are now in the process of identifying which cities may become the most innovative in the future and have created a shortlist of 20 possible candidates, each of whichis showing potential leadership in different regions, in different ways and in different circumstances. They are: Seattle, Toronto, Austin, Santiago, Tallinn, Copenhagen, Cambridge, Vienna, Barcelona, Dubai, Hyderabad, Nairobi, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Ho Chi Minh, Kuala Lumpur, Melbourne and Auckland.

Interestingly, Europe can claim one in two of the world’s most innovative cities from past centures but a little less than one in three of the current and future nominees. The ranking no doubt only reflects Europe’s past and current standing on the world stage.

See https://www.slideshare.net/innovationleaders/the-worlds-most-innovative-cities-past-present-and-future-01-sept-2017

 

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BUSINESS INSIGHT: MEET ROGER LA SALLE ON 5 OCTOBER IN MUNICH

Roger La Salle will be giving a one-day interactive workshop on 5 October in Munich entitled “Turbo Charge your Business”, together with Dr Tobias Adam of Magnify Innovation Consulting. The event offers a practical hands-on approach to innovation and opportunity capture with real outcomes, delivered by experts/practitioners who have actually created real-life breakthrough innovation.

You will hear about some of the practical outcomes that have inspired the creation of new firms and learn the methods that have underpinned these successes. How can you systematically search for opportunities and create new businesses from the simple art of “observation”? The workshop guarantees to stimulate new ways of thinking and present a new approach to building a business.

More information about the day and registration can be found at https://www.magnifyinnovation.com/lasalleseminar/

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EPO CASE STUDIES: HOW SMEs USE IP TO THEIR ADVANTAGE

The EPO, in close collaboration with renowned IP experts, has produced a series of case studies on European small and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) which are benefiting from using patents and other IP rights.

SMEs from different countries, operating in different industry sectors and using different types of technology, have been interviewed about their IP strategy and underlying business model. The case studies illustrate how emerging and established SMEs have developed appropriate IP management capabilities, and how they are using IP to their advantage.

The 12 case studies are downloadable individually or as one pdf document at https://www.epo.org/learning-events/materials/sme-case-studies.html

 

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FUNDING FOR NETWORKS OF R&I PLAYERS TO STIMULATE COOPERATION BETWEEN EU AND BRAZIL

The EU-funded project INCOBRA is offering grants of €19 500 to 5 current or new bilateral networks of R&I stakeholders from the EU and Brazil for the purpose of stimulating closer collaboration and joint projects in the fields of bioeconomy, food security and sustainable agriculture, energy, ICT, health and sustainable urbanisation, marine research and nanotechnology. The grants are intended to fund travel/accommodation costs and working meetings among members of the networks over a 7-month period starting in March 2018. The successful grantees will also receive consultancy services from the INCOBRA consortium to assist them with extracting best value from their bilateral networking.

Eligible networks include members with the following profile:  centres of excellence, competence centers, clusters, technology platforms, innovation partnerships, innovation communities, SMEs, universities, business incubators/accelerators, science and technology parks or research centers. The networks may already be formed and are currently carrying out bilateral activities or planning to do so; they may also be former consortia of European and Brazilian partners who have worked together on a funded project and wish to continue their collaboration / sustain the results of their project; or they are new networks intending to submit joint projects for available funding.

The full call document and application procedure can be found at https://www.incobra.eu/en/object/call/444 and the deadline for applications is 15 December 2017.

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72 NOMINATIONS RECEIVED FOR 2018 MILLENNIUM TECHNOLOGY PRIZE

A total of 72 innovations and 105 individuals were nominated for the 2018 Millennium Technology Prize by the nomination deadline on 31 July. Health technology, biomedicine and materials and process technology received the most nominations. Most of the nominations were from Europe, followed by the United States. Candidates were nominated most actively by universities and research institutions, while companies were somewhat more active than before. Asia was especially active in making submissions, with Asian organisations nominating three times as many innovations as in the previous nomination period in 2015.

The nominees will be thoroughly evaluated during the autumn and winter. The evaluation will be carried out by the independent Millennium Technology Prize Selection Committee, the members of which represent a comprehensive range of technological fields. The members of the jury have access to all of the material drafted by the nominated parties and will take the most promising candidates under more detailed scrutiny. Following the evaluation process, the Selection Committee will make its proposal to the Board of Technology Academy Finland, which will decide the winner.

The winner of the 2018 Millennium Technology Prize, worth €1 million, will be announced on 22 May 2018 with the prize ceremony taking place in Helsinki on the same day.

More information at http://www.taf.fi

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