Moedas outlines approaches to achieving a better framework for innovation
"A Better Framework for Innovation" was the title of a conference organised by Business Europe, the European Risk Forum and the European Round Table of Industrialists. The event was held at the Permanent Representation of the Netherlands, the current EU Council Presidency, in Brussels on 26 January 2016. The conference aimed at building a political momentum around the need to make Europe a better place to innovate, discussing concrete proposals to boost innovation governance, better innovation regulation and science-based policy making.
Speaking at the conference, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas emphasised the importance of regulatory frameworks for innovation, adding that it is sometimes difficult to identify exactly which regulations are helping or hindering innovation and to introduce the changes required. According to Commissioner Moedas, there are two ways to go from theory to practice, the first being to incorporate innovation into better regulation, the second being to pilot a new approach, which he called "innovation deals".
With regard to the first approach, Mr. Moedas pointed out that the Commission has introduced an "innovation tool" to help assess the potential impacts of new regulation on innovation, in addition to ongoing discussions with Member States and the innovation community on improving EU legislation. He also mentioned the Commission's paper on "Better regulations for innovation-driven investment at EU level", which was published in December 2016.
Mr. Moedas then explained the second approach, the "innovation deals", saying "The objective of innovation deals is to bring together innovators and regulators, so that they can reach a common understanding of how a specific innovation can be introduced within existing regulatory frameworks. This approach builds on the Dutch green deals, but will apply to EU level regulations. Experience from the Dutch green deals shows that − in the large majority of cases − the regulatory obstacle was a perceived one, rather than a real one, so EU Innovation Deals should overcome perceived regulatory barriers and provide guidance on how new technologies and innovations can be introduced within the flexibility of existing legislation."
According to the Commissioner, the first pilot of the innovation deals will be launched in the area of the Circular Economy, by means of an open call in the coming months for innovators to identify areas where they see EU regulatory frameworks as blocking their innovations. The call is to be launched before the end of the Dutch Council Presidency. The Commission will then select the innovations that are most relevant at EU level and will work together with the innovator and national authorities to either create legal certainty, or to identify and apply existing flexibility within existing legal requirements.
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Photo: Commissioner Moedas (by Business Europe)