Skip to main content
Research and innovation
News article25 June 2021Directorate-General for Research and Innovation

European Research and Innovation Days 2021: we need EU research and innovation to ensure a sustainable Europe

Europe’s collaborative research and innovation are key drivers for a greener, healthier and more digital future for all. This was the main theme of the third European Research and Innovation Days this week. Its over 21,000 registered participants from 105 countries stressed the need for Europe to remain at the forefront of research and innovation to achieve a sustainable future for all. This includes key roles for Horizon Europe, the new EU research and innovation programme, as well as the European Research Area to lead on the coronavirus recovery and the twin green and digital transitions.

At the two-day event, policymakers, researchers, innovators, and citizens from Europe and beyond took part in more than 70 immersive sessions to shape the future research and innovation landscape.

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth said:

The European Research and Innovation Days sparked energy, creativity and dedication amongst its 21,000 participants, stressing the importance of investments in research and innovation across Europe. We can make a real difference in the lives of Europeans and society as a whole by working together.

Notable points discussed at the event’s plenary sessions included, but were not limited to:

  • Research and innovation accelerate the green and digital transitions that are key drivers behind the ongoing ecological, social and economic transformation of our societies and economies. Three islands are on the right track by winning the 2020 EU RESPonsible Island prize for their innovative renewable energy solutions;
  • Cities and citizens play a crucial role when it comes to implementing the ambitious goals of the EU missions to help build a green and digital future;
  • Collaboration on a global scale through sharing scientific and societal research data is crucial to find solutions to the coronavirus pandemic, such as with the new Coronavirus Global R&I Collaboration Portal. The global approach to research and innovation will overall drive excellence, pool resources to achieve scientific progress and develop vibrant innovation ecosystems;
  • The European Strategy for Universities will bridge education, research, innovation and service to society, accelerating the realisation of the European Education Area and European Research Area actions;
  • The European Union, national governments and stakeholders will need to work together to put the new European Research Area in motion thereby prioritising investments to deal with the challenges that Europe faces. The new EU Knowledge Valorisation Platform will help turn research results into successful EU made products & solutions;
  • The Recovery and Resilience Facility with its strong emphasis on research and innovation and Horizon Europe helps ensure that we build back better in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic;

The sessions’ recordings are available on the event platform and Flickr hosts the event’s photo coverage. The European Research and Innovation Exhibition will remain online to stay up to date on ground-breaking EU-funded research.


European Research and Innovation Days is the European Commission’s annual flagship Research and Innovation event having had its third edition this year. Last year’s online event attracted over 35000 registered participants from 188 countries in 146 panels.

More information

European Research and Innovation Days

Horizon Europe


Publication date
25 June 2021
Directorate-General for Research and Innovation