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Calls to protect €80 billion Horizon 2020 Budget in Negotiations - EU Innovation Study Launched


19 Sep 2012


Innovation & Enterprise
EU Priorities 2020

Calls to protect €80 billion Horizon 2020 Budget in Negotiations

-         EU Innovation Study Launched


  • Expectations are high that innovation can become the key to putting Europe back on the path of sustainable economic growth.
  • Successful innovation policies would provide tangible benefits for many dimensions of EU citizens’ lives, generally improving their well-being.
  • A commitment from the EU to help promote the value of innovation among EU citizens is expected.
  • Germany, Sweden and Finland are perceived to be more successful than other member states in creating a framework conducive to innovation.


Brussels, Belgium 19th September 2012: GE today published the results of the second edition of its ‘GE EU Innovation Barometer’ an independent survey of 260 Brussels influencers supplemented by several interviews and a review of media coverage and public reports on Innovation in the EU. The research was launched at an event in the European Parliament in Brussels hosted by Sean Kelly (Ireland, EPP), Member of the European Parliament Committee on Regional Development.


At the launch there were calls from MEP Sean Kelly (EPP) for the safeguarding of the Horizon 2020 €80billion budget which has been proposed by the European Commission in the current and upcoming negotiations. Speaking at the launch Sean Kelly MEP said that a minimum that the €80billion budget should be secured at a time when we need to look at kick starting the economy and driving innovation, competitiveness and ultimately jobs. MEP Kelly’s remarks were supported by GE’s Vice President of European Affairs Hendrik Bourgeois who emphasised the need for concrete actions in innovation which he said was in danger of becoming just another ‘buzz word’.


Addressing the gathering Sean Kelly MEP said; “Europe remains in the depths of a severe crisis. While we clearly need to be focussed on bringing about stability and tackling this, we need also to be focussed on the future growth, renewal and competitiveness of the EU. Innovation has been identified by the European Commission as one of the key platforms in its 2020 Strategy and in my view it can be the catalyst to drive sustainable growth and employment.


The sudden decline in previously leading sectors reinforces the need to diversify into alternative sources of prosperity. The opportunity exists to broaden the base of future economic growth – green energy, agri-food, environmental sciences, biotech, health will all be important. Innovation will be at the heart of all of these. We need to ensure that we build, across Europe, an innovation eco-system that facilitates innovation right along the chain from ideation to commercialisation. 



This Innovation Barometer clearly identifies some of the barriers and also the changing model for innovation. Collaboration is identified as a key driver.


As the institutions debate the next Multi-Annual Budget I would encourage them to protect the €80billion earmarked for research and innovation under the Horizon 2020 programme”, said Sean Kelly presenting the research.


Hendrik Bourgeois, Vice President European Affairs at GE, commenting on the findings, said;

“Economic globalisation has led to a shift in the economic order and that poses both an opportunity and a challenge for the EU. If Europe is to compete and maintain its position as a major economic force it needs to become more innovative and respond to the changing market conditions.


We believe that innovation can be the catalyst for Europe’s economic renewal but that will not happen in a vacuum. We need to create an environment that promotes, incentivises and rewards innovation in its broadest sense, by both the public and private sectors.


GE believes strongly that those companies and economies that invest in innovation today will emerge from the current economic difficulties strongly positioned for growth.”

The research findings once again confirm that innovation is perceived as a key driver of the EU’s future competitiveness. However the EU has significant challenges when it comes to commercialization of its innovation and driving growth and employment.


Investing in Innovation

Likely tied to the impact of the economic and financial crisis, expectations are high that innovation can become the key driver in placing Europe back on the path of sustainable economic growth.


  • The 2012 Barometer shows that respondents believe the EU has been more successful in allocating its policies, resources and budget to support research & innovation with an 8% increase over the 2010 Innovation Barometer edition. 93% of respondents – a 7% rise from 2010 – believe that investing in innovation is one of the best ways to create jobs in Europe. Furthermore, benefits of a strong innovation policy on the energy and healthcare industries are on the rise – up 6% for the latter.


  • Beyond economic performance, a large majority of respondents expect that successful innovation policies would provide tangible benefits for many dimensions of EU citizens’ lives, generally improving their well-being particularly in environmental quality, health quality and both quality of and access to education.


  • 64% believe that fighting bureaucracy for companies trying to access EU funds for innovation should be a top priority for EU Innovation Policy to focus on in the coming years. The issue of funding stands out as a concern raised by respondents; 92% feel that providing additional funding for research and innovation within the EU is important to support innovation.


  • The overriding consensus among innovation stakeholders is that European mentality needs to change if innovation is to become embedded in European society. European culture is seen as an innovation deterrent by respondents who repeatedly mention culture and education when talking about the issues to tackle in order to unlock Europe’s innovation potential. In this field, respondents expect a clear commitment from the EU to help promote the value of innovation among EU students;


Within Europe, some countries, notably Germany, Sweden and Finland are perceived to be more successful than other member states in creating a framework conducive to innovation. Part of this positive assessment made by Brussels' influencers can be explained by the willingness and ability to take innovations to market, higher expenditure by both state and business in R&D and good linkages between academia and industry. Respondents feel the EU should take inspiration from these factors and promote them in its innovation related policies and decision making.


Innovation has been a central priority over the last decade, backed by numerous strategies, funding programmes and assessments. GE strongly believes that Innovation has a central role to play in the EU growth strategy.


Background information


Fieldwork for the second edition of the Innovation Barometer took place between November and December 2011 and was conducted by by StratergyOne, an independent research and consulting firm.


As with the first edition, the objective of the survey was to evaluate the Brussels opinion formers’ insights on the current state of innovation policies in the EU in terms of:

  • Allocated resources and budget
  • Impact and benefits on the EU economy
  • Impact and benefits on EU citizens
  • Deterrents to innovation
  • Possible improvement in supporting innovation policies
  • EU member states’ performance in the field of innovation.


About GE


GE is a diversified global infrastructure, finance and media company that's built to meet essential world needs. From energy water, transportation and health to access to money and information, GE serves customers in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people worldwide.


GE employs over 90,000 people in Europe across the portfolio of its businesses many of which are headquartered in the region. Its international headquarter is located in Brussels.


About Strategy One


StrategyOne is a full service, strategic research and measurement consultancy institute. Created in 1999 in New York, with offices in London, New York, Paris, Brussels, Washington, Chicago, Silicon Valley, Abu Dhabi and Atlanta.

StrategyOne routinely conducts projects with global perspective. In Europe, StrateryOne provides companies and organizations with opinion, stakeholders and marketing research as well as measurement of communications and public affairs initiative.


GE Contacts:

Hugh Gillanders
+32 2235 6914 (o)
+32 (0) 473926914 (c)




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