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1st European Innovation Summit “Strengthening Europe’s Innovation Performance”


16 Oct 2009


Innovation & Enterprise

Brussels, 16 October 2009 – On 13 and 14 October the first European Innovation Summit (EIS) took place at the European Parliament, bringing together some 600 stakeholders of the European Innovation Ecosystem, including representatives from the European Institutions, 33 exhibiting organisations and more than 120 speakers with complementary expertise and backgrounds from the public, private and academic sectors. In his keynote speech during the Welcome Reception Commission President José Manuel Barroso emphasised the importance of innovation for the new Commission and expressed his satisfaction to be part of the summit: “I am very happy to be here at this first edition of the European Innovation Summit and I am very pleased to know that it is has been a success during the first day, this Knowledge4Innovation initiative.”

Organised by the Knowledge4innovation platform, the event aimed at discussing priorities and developed recommendations for a new European innovation agenda. As a major highlight of the concluding partner dinner, MEP van Nistelrooij presented the political members of the Lisbon Forum Governing Board that together with an equal number of K4I stakeholders will conceive and approve the future programme of the Forum. These MEPs include: Alojz Peterle (EPP/SLO), Paul Rübig (EPP/AT), MEP Edit Herczog (S&D/HU), Antonio Correia de Campos (S&D/PT), Ioannis Tsoukalas (EPP/GR), Pilar del Castillo Vera (EPP/ES), Silvia-Adriana Ticau (S&D/RO), Danuta Hübner (EPP/PL), Jorgo Chatzimarkakis (ALDE/DE), Alexander Alvaro (ALDE/DE), Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg (S&D/PL).

MEP Lambert van Nistelrooij, who accepted to act as first Chairman of the Lisbon Forum’s Governance Board, said: “Innovation is a key ingredient in Europe’s receipt to foster competitiveness, to sustain its economic growth, to find a way out of the financial crisis and to address societal challenges such as ageing, regional cohesion or climate change. As Members of the European Parliament we are committed to provide the best possible policy framework to secure Europe’s innovation potential in the long run. This is only possible in cooperation with all innovation actors and we therefore welcome the engagement of the stakeholders present at the European Innovation Summit and look forward to the work within the Lisbon Forum.”

In addition to the establishment of the Lisbon Forum’s Governance Board, the European Innovation Summit offered numerous opportunities for discussion and networking. During two days experts outlined success stories as well as challenges for Europe’s innovation performance, finally leading to a debate that integrated different views along the whole innovation value chain.

At the occasion of the opening ceremony, under the lead of Parliament President Jerzy Buzek, more than 200 students followed with great interest the presentation of a series of role models and best practices. The main objective of this session was to inspire students to engage in science and technology careers. In four subsequent panel discussions, speakers from the European Institutions, academia, regional authorities, enterprises and SMEs addressed central issues such as innovation governance, intellectual property rights, Europe’s R&D initiatives and the competitiveness of Europe’s industries.

MEP Paul Rübig who hosted and opened the exhibition, expressed his satisfaction about the summit results and his conviction that the initiative has a great potential to contribute to the political agenda of the European Parliament for the years to come.

Hans van der Loo, Head European Union Liaison, Shell International, mentioned: “Given how long the Lisbon Objectives have been around, the 1st European Innovation Summit was long overdue. It is good to have a vision of EU's declared goals such as innovation, sustainability and competitiveness, but these will not materialise unless greater focus is given to the strategic enablers. The pathway to Europe's Innovation future is very much like a pipeline : The result coming out of the pipeline 15 to 20 years from now, will depend on whether Europe is able to fill the pipeline in the next five years with better Science and Technology education to create the talent for the knowledge based society that is able to achieve these goals. By time of the end of the new Commission and new Parliament, we will know whether Europeans can expect to have a globally competitive economy and society resulting from ’innovations for sustainability’ in 2025 -or not.“

The main EIS results will be included into an Innovation Agenda to be distributed to the European Institutions, in particular in view of a future ‘European Innovation Act’, currently under preparation by the European Commission. The Lisbon Forum will decide at the next Programming Committee meeting about a series of debates to be organised between now and the 2nd European Innovation Summit.

Note to the editors:

Knowledge4Innovation (K4I) is a platform for debate on the future of innovation in Europe bringing together actors from the public, private and academic sectors in a permanent dialogue on how best to foster European Innovation policies. Regular debates on innovation among Members of the European Parliament and members of the K4I platform are organised throughout the year within the framework of K4I’s policy dialogue instrument – the Lisbon Forum.


EIS Opening Session with the Opening Speech by the President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek; Vice-President European Parliament Alejo Vidal-Quadras; Nobel Price Winner Gerard ‘t Hooft, Matthias Bichsel from Royal Dutch Shell:

EIS Welcoming Speech by European Commission President José Manuel Barroso: (entire speech) (extracts)

EIS Press Conference (EN/FR/DE/PL/HU) with MEP Edit Herczog; MEP Lambert van Nistelrooij; MEP Danuta Maria Hübner; MEP Paul Rübig; MEP Silvia Adriana Ticau; Mr Hans van der Loo, Head of the European Union Liaison Office; Shell International; Roland Strauss, Founder and Managing Director, Knowledge4Innovation:

Contact: +32-(0)473-13.5858
K4I/Lisbon Forum
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Sven Saekert +32-(0)473-13.0118
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