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23 Feb 2018

Commissioner Moedas speaks on innovation and launches new prize at European Industry Days

The European Industry Days are taking place in Brussels on 22-23 February 2018. Today, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, spoke at the event about "A New Ecosystem for Science, Start-ups and Industry".

The Commissioner outlined the historic importance for industry in what today is the EU, adding that as the EU's industrial integrity is now facing new threats in the global economy, Europe needs to put its "full forces behind sustaining a competitive and resilient European industry". Mr. Moedas sees Industry 4.0 as "a new wave of innovation ... arriving which will bring huge opportunities for European industry", with a merging of physical and digital technologies that will fundamentally change most industrial sectors, and with Europe's scientific strengths as a huge asset in this context.

Mr. Moedas compared this new development to the propeller of a plane, with science, start-ups and industry as its three strong blades: Science to develop the new ideas and technologies of the future; start-ups and SMEs to develop the breakthrough innovations; and industry to scale up innovations and create economic and social impact. With a view to the next Framework Programme, the Commissioner reiterated that Europe needs to build on the success of Horizon 2020 in these three areas, highlighting in particular the success of PPPs and KETs (and the work of the High Level Strategy Group and its report) in working with industry. He went on to state that the EU would need to take forward the P2Ps (Public-Private Partnerships), simplifying the many different types of P2Ps, making them more open to new participants and other funders, and creating more flexibility to be able to adapt to current and future needs. 

With regard to FP9, Mr. Moedas sees the greatest potential for breakthrough innovation - and thus the greatest need for improvement - with regard to supporting start-ups and SMEs, which is why he strongly champions the idea of a European Innovation Council (EIC). The EIC, which is already running as a 2.7 billion pilot under Horizon 2020, should be the link between the start-ups and the large corporates, thus becoming the "missing blade of our propeller". In this context, Commissioner Moedas announced the launch of a new prize: the EIC Horizon Prize on Innovative Batteries for e-Vehicles, which will award € 10 million to the developer of a safe and sustainable battery for electric vehicles.

To read the Commissioner's full speech, please click here [check against delivery]

Photo: Commissioner Moedas (by EC)

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