Closing the EU Innovation Gap
By Ingemar Pongratz
The new EU launched the Horizon Europe research and innovation programme earlier this year. There were several delays but now the new Horizon Europe work programmes have been launched and application are underway.
There are many interesting calls for proposals in Horizon Europe and there several new modalities as well. One interesting aspect that the European Commission already presented is that Horizon Europe will play more attention to European policy demands.
One of these policy areas is to close the gap between different European member states in terms of research and innovation capacity. This gap between member states is rather prominent and the European Commission has clearly stated that is an important area to address. Closing the EU Innovation Gap is a prominent feature in several Horizon Europe work programmes and there are several calls addressing this topic.
In general, the European Commission expects that collaboration between areas with high innovation capacity and areas with modest innovation capacity will help closing the EU innovation gap.
Several topics aim to establish collaboration between innovation actors, export experience and best practice examples, exchange innovation staff, among other. leaders for these projects should come from areas with modest innovation capacity . Understandable, but is it practical?
The calls also aim to create synergies between different European funding sources, such as Horizon Europe, Interreg or Cohesion funds. Also, different European actors should pool together knowledge, resources and even national funds in these collaborative efforts.
It is also interesting to note that there are several projects aim to include collaboration between public and private capital. However, at least in Scandinavia there is little interest among private capital to engage in EU projects. The main hurdle is lack of knowledge about EU management procedures. Private actors see the possibility, but are concerned about the administrative and reporting burden.
Closing the EU Innovation Gap remains an important activity, but the path remains long and difficult. It is also clear that the there is a lack of information in this area. Stakeholders need more information, but the travel restrictions are a problem to organize information events.
Ingemar Pongratz is founder of Fenix Scientific AB / Pongratz Consulting. We offer support to universities, enterprises and other organization to apply for European funding programmes. If you are interested in our professional services, please reach through our contact information pages.