From the recent establishment of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) to the arrival of the first full-time Innovation Commissioner, Máire Geogheagan-Quinn, innovation policy is set to take centre stage on the European agenda in coming years. "We do have excellent research, education and business centres but knowledge and ideas sometimes still tend to clog up in dead ends. Here is where we clearly need to do better", Dr Schuurmans highlighted in his speech.
One of the key components for a pathway to success in the 21st Century is "open innovation", which was very much discussed during the Lisbon Council meeting. "In addition to open innovation, a structural change in Europe’s innovation ecosystem also requires the full integration of the knowledge triangle; that is of higher education, research and business/innovation. To unleash Europe's innovation potential, borders between academia and business, between teaching and research must be broken and made largely subordinate to entrepreneurship, which should be both the glue and the driver to success in innovation within the knowledge triangle", Dr Martin Schuurmans pointed out during the panel discussion.
Dr Schuurmans emphasised that "we, Europeans, have been good at setting-up objectives and targets that have hardly been met. Now, Europe should go beyond policy co-ordination to real delivery using impactful initiatives. The European Institute of Innovation and Technology, EIT, is one such initiative. Their Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) are test beds for a new kind of collaborative, entrepreneurial approach".