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GE issues results of ‘Innovation Barometer’


15 Jul 2010



Investing in innovation seen as best way to create jobs in the EU

Munich, GERMANY, July 15, 2010: GE (NYSE:GE) today presented the preliminary results of its ‘GE Innovation Barometer’, an independent survey of 240 Brussels opinion leaders on innovation policies in the European Union.

The research, conducted by StrategyOne, was published in conjunction with GE’s European launch of its global €160 million ($200 million) ‘ecomagination Challenge’, an initiative to help accelerate technology through open collaboration. With the EU placing innovation at the core of its 2020 strategy, and in advance of the publication later this year of the European Commission’s Innovation Strategy, the research was commissioned by GE to investigate the way Brussels opinion leaders view the current state of innovation policies within the union. Respondents to the survey include a wide array of relevant stakeholders and represent Brussels-based institutions, NGOs and businesses.

The results of the preliminary research (the full report of which will be published in September) highlight that while 86% of respondents believe investing in innovation is one of the best ways to create jobs in the EU, only 53% think that the EU is currently successful in directing its policies, resources and budget to support research and innovation. When asked which sectors would most benefit from a more efficient EU innovation policy, ie. create most jobs and economic growth, 78% of respondents believe the energy sector, followed by healthcare (66%) and telecommunications (57%).

The ‘GE Innovation Barometer’ also highlights some positive consensus, e.g. that innovation is viewed as a key driver to recovery and growth in Europe, that innovation has a very strong “cultural” dimension and needs to be encouraged through education, and that public-private partnerships need to be developed further. On the latter, the survey also indicates that 85% of respondents believe encouraging closer public-private cooperation is important to support innovation in the EU. Commenting on the results Nani Beccalli-Falco, President and CEO of GE International, said “The ‘GE Innovation Barometer’ highlights the overwhelming belief that innovation can be a central element of Europe’s recovery and growth.

That consensus should be harnessed to ensure that we put in place an environment, which supports and allows innovation to flourish in Europe. This means the public and private sectors working together to remove the barriers that impede progress in this area. The forthcoming Innovation Strategy due to be published by the European Commission provides a great opportunity to do this.” The research indicates some concerns among respondents that there is an insufficient appetite for venture capital in funds management, and that bureaucratic procedures prevent players from allocating and applying resources efficiently to support innovation. In 2009, the European Patent Office granted 52,000 patents.

This is 13 percent less than in 2008, but there are positive developments, e.g. in the renewable energies sector. “In launching our ‘ecomagination Challenge’ GE is working to play its part in supporting open innovation and to act as a catalyst to support the emergence of new technologies which will drive the development of a cleaner, smarter and more efficient economy. “ said Tore Land, GE’s ecomagination leader for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

According to Mr. Land low carbon innovation can drive growth and create sustainable employment. Between 2005 and the end of 2009 GE estimates that it has created approximately 50,000 jobs directly and in its supply chain through its ecomagination initiative.


About GE GE (NYSE: GE) is an innovative and diversified technology company taking on the world’s toughest challenges. From aircraft engines and power generation to financial services, healthcare, and television programming, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's website at About the survey: The research has been commissioned by GE and conducted by StrategyOne in April-July 2010. The survey combines both quantitative and qualitative data, gathered through email and phone interviews. The full report of the final research will be published in September 2010.

Founded in 1999 StrategyOne is an independent research company with offices in New York, Washington, Paris, London, Chicago, Abu Dhabi, Atlanta, and Silicon Valley.

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