What is the New European Innovation Agenda?
Innovation, and in particular its new wave of deep-tech innovation, is the European reply to bring down greenhouse gas emissions, to make our economies more digital and to guarantee Europe’s food, energy and raw materials security.
The New European Innovation Agenda, adopted on 5 July 2022, aims to position Europe at the forefront of the new wave of deep tech innovation and start-ups. It will help Europe to develop new technologies to address the most pressing societal challenges, and to bring them on the market. Europe wants to be the place where the best talent work hand in hand with the best companies and where deep tech innovation thrives and creates breakthrough innovative solutions across the continent.
The New European Innovation Agenda focuses on five flagships:
- Funding Scale-Ups will mobilise institutional and other private investors in Europe to invest in, and benefit from the scaling of European deep-tech start-ups.
- Enabling innovation through experimentation spaces and public procurement will facilitate innovation through improved framework conditions including experimental approaches to regulation (e.g. regulatory sandboxes, test beds, living labs and innovation procurement).
- Accelerating and strengthening innovation in European Innovation Ecosystems across the EU and addressing the innovation divide will support the creation of regional innovation valleys and help Member States and regions direct at least €10 billion to concrete interregional innovation projects, including in deep-tech innovation for key EU priorities. It will also support Member States to foster innovation in all regions through the integrated use of cohesion policy and Horizon Europe instruments.
- Fostering, attracting and retaining talents will ensure the development and flow of essential deep tech talents in and to the EU through a series of initiatives including an innovation intern scheme for startups and scale-ups, an EU talent pool to help startups and innovative businesses find non-EU talent, a women entrepreneurship and leadership scheme and a pioneering work on startup employees’ stock options.
- Improving policy making tools will be the key for development and use of robust, comparable data sets and a shared definitions (startups, scale-up) that can inform policies at all levels across the EU and for ensuring better policy coordination at the European level through the European Innovation Council Forum.
Building on the substantive work that have been done already to foster innovation in the EU, the New European Innovation Agenda aims to accelerate the development and scaling up of innovation across the Union through a coherent set of 25 actions.
Through the EIC Forum, a group of Member States and Associated Countries' public authorities and bodies in charge of innovation policies and programmes, were asked to provide brief descriptions of the main actions they are undertaking or planning to undertake in support of one or more of the five flagships of the NEIA.
Throughout long consultations and co-creation processes with stakeholders, five broad action areas have emerged that are essential to boosting Europe’s innovation performance.
These five main areas are:
- Access to finance: scale-up gap
- Framework conditions, including legislation: scope for more pro-innovation regulation
- Fragmentation of the EU innovation ecosystem: need to strengthen and better connect innovation ecosystems
- Innovation performance: differences among EU regions
- Talent: developing, retaining and attracting entrepreneurial talents, encouraging diversity
Europe’s Innovation Ecosystem Survey Report
As a part of the stakeholder consultations process, in 2021, the Commission conducted a survey for innovation stakeholders to grasp their views on the challenges that Europe’s innovation ecosystem actors are facing, the opportunities foreseen ahead, and visions and ideas for future actions. The survey received a total of 239 responses from participants active in all 27 EU Member States, representing a wide range of innovation stakeholders, including: Universities and Research Organisations; individual Researchers, Innovators and Citizens of EU Member States; Small and Medium Enterprises, Businesses and Startups.
Stakeholders’ Group Consultations
The Unicorns group brings together 32 Unicorns from 27 Member States. In April 2021, the group submitted the report “#NextInnovationEU”, A LEAN CANVAS FOR NEXT INNOVATION EU to Commissioner Gabriel, which outlines 8 proposals for actions in order to ensure Europe’s tech sovereignty, green transformation, deep tech leadership, and innovation cohesion.
The Innovation Ecosystem Leaders Group brings together leading startup ecosystem leaders from across 27 EU Member States. In May 2021, the group submitted its report ”Action Plan to Make Europe the new Global Powerhouse for Startups”, proposing a set of actions to support the development of startups and the increase of the number of unicorns in Europe over the next decade as well as to give a voice to the startup innovation ecosystem representatives in the EU-level innovation policy.
On 15 July 2021, the Women in Venture Capital group published an online report on women-led venture capital in Europe, titled "Invest in Women NOW". The report features concrete recommendations for the European Commission and the European Investment Bank on how to increase female-led venture capital funds, and improve access to finance for women-led companies. The actions of the initiative aim to reach 30% of total Limited Partners/Fund of Funds capital available to be invested for female-led funds within 3 years, and to reach equal stakes by 2028.
Coalition of the Willing
The Coalition of the Willing is an independent umbrella group born out of the realisation that Europe needs a broad coalition of key European innovation stakeholders to ensure an efficient and effective implementation of the New European Innovation Agenda
With the Coalition of the Willing, innovative ecosystems, corporates, local authorities, and European Universities want to co-implement the Innovation Agenda while having clear and open communication lines with the European Commission, to improve processes where needed.
The Coalition of the Willing members are proposing concrete initiatives. As of May 2023, more than 125 initiatives, covering the five Innovation Agenda flagships, have been proposed.
European Sounding Board on Innovation
The European Sounding Board on Innovation is an independent advisory vehicle stimulating further-development of strategic aspects of the European Innovation Agenda and discussions of emerging dossiers with high-level representatives from European academia and industry.
It is a transparent and impartial platform for an evidence-based, open and confident exchange amongst stakeholders from European industry, academia and the political sector. Its objective is to develop concrete recommendations and options for innovation activities and accompany their implementation, if needed, to ensure that Europe is leading the new wave of innovations.
European Innovation Ecosystems projects
Under Horizon Europe, the European Innovation Ecosystems projects will contribute to three flagships of the Agenda: scaling up deep-tech innovative companies; enabling innovation through experimentation spaces and innovative public procurement; and strengthening innovation ecosystems across the EU and addressing the innovation divide. See the factsheets for more information.
New European Innovation Agenda: the first EU-funded projects on the starting blocks
- General publications
- Directorate-General for Research and Innovation
Projects under the European innovation ecosystems work programme in support of the new European innovation agenda
- News article
Results of the Regional Innovation Valleys calls are in with strong interest from Member States and Associated Countries
Research and innovation news alert: On 17 October, the Commission closed the 1st coordinated calls under the Regional Innovation Valleys initiative to strengthen EU cohesion and innovation. Over 50 proposals were received with nearly 1000 participants from 25 Member States and 6 Associated Countries
- News article
Research and innovation news alert: Today, the Commission published the list of actions that Member State and Associated Countries to Horizon Europe are doing in support of the New European Innovation Agenda (NEIA).
- News article
Research and innovation news alert: Today, the Commission published a matchmaking map highlighting European regions that have expressed their interest to become a Regional Innovation Valley.
- Conferences and summits
Knowledge Exchange Platform Seminar: Implementation of the New European Innovation Agenda – what is in it for regions and Cities
- Thursday 28 September 2023, 14:30 - 18:00 (CEST)
- Brussels, Belgium
- Partner meetings
- Tuesday 12 September 2023, 09:30 - 13:00 (CEST)
- Online only