Advantages of European Innovation Council presented in Slovenia
The participants of today's conference in Slovenia, which was selected as the first country to promote the EIC, agreed boosting innovation was key to sustainable growth.
Many countries, including Slovenia, are successful in innovating, but much less when it comes to transferring innovations to the corporate sector.
One of the reasons is a lack of funds for what is termed the pilot stage of development, which the EIC should address.
The EIC will be part of the 10-billion-euro Horizon Europe research and innovation programme in 2021-2027, which will succeed Horizon 2020.
With its help, European scientific discoveries and innovations should be transformed into business opportunities for growth to the largest possible extent.
Since the EIC pilot was lunched in 2017, almost 1,280 innovative projects in Europe have benefited from a total of 730 million euro.
"It is disruptive innovations that change business models and put Europe on a par with other superpowers," said Draško Veselinovič, head of the Brussels-based Slovenian Business and Research Association, with which the Commission paired up to organise the conference.
Zoran Stančič, head of the European Commission Representation in Slovenia, said there was room for improvement in providing incentives to innovators.
Minister for Development, Strategic Projects and Cohesion Iztok Purič agreed with Stančič in that R&D funds should increase generally, including in national budgets.
"Creative individuals who know how to turn their ideas into business opportunities are an important driving force of development," Purič noted.
Education and Science Minister Jernej Pikalo added that linking the academia with businesses and other stakeholders in an effective manner remained a challenge.
The conference, held at the Faculty of Economics, is attended by several senior Commission representatives and will feature a number of events throughout the day.