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Universities as keys to unlock Europe’s Innovation Powerhouse

September 6, 2018


Universities as keys to unlock Europe’s Innovation Powerhouse

EU Affairs


September 6, 2018

To realise an European Innovation Powerhouse, the European Consortium of Universities (ECIU) would like to see that Horizon Europe pays particular emphasis on fostering excellent local European innovation ecosystems, in which innovative universities play a very important role. Along the whole Horizon Europe programme, and particularly in its Open Innovation Pillar, innovation ecosystems must be supported and connected, because they are crucial for realising social and digital transformation. The full ECIU position on Horizon Europe was presented during a networking event in Brussels on 6 September.

ECIU about Horizon Europe

ECIU welcomes the proposal for Horizon Europe and its focus on impact and innovation. ECIU appreciates the inclusion of an Open Innovation pillar, which indeed should make innovation as open as possible. However, Europe must consider universities as linking pin for connecting local, regional and pan-European ecosystems when implementing Horizon Europe. Universities are enablers for innovation-led growth and social innovation, and therefore universities are key when it comes to implementing Europe’s innovation ambitions.

Networking event

Eighty key stakeholders and policymakers in European research and innovation policies gathered inBrussels on 6 September 2018, to discuss the role of universities in Horizon Europe for unlocking Europe’s Innovation Powerhouse. Asta Pundzienė, ECIU VicePresident, presented the ECIU position. Jean-David Malo, Director OpenInnovation and Open Science at DG RTD and Lieve Wierinck, Shadow RapporteurHorizon Europe at the European Parliament gave a reaction. There were also pitches, illustrating the role of innovative universities in the innovation ecosystem, by Fernando Vilariño, (Associate Director Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and President of the European Network of Living Labs), Kees Eijkel(Director Strategic Business Development University of Twente), and Dorte Stigaard(Director of Innovation at Aalborg University). Moderation was done byCharlotte Geerdink (Charly Speaks).

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ECIU is the leading international consortium of research intensive universities, with collective emphasis on innovation, creativity and societal impact, driving the development of a knowledge-based economy.