Innovation, the development of new customers value through solutions that meet new needs, inarticulate needs, or old customer and market needs in new ways. This is accomplished through different or more effective products, processes, services, technologies, or ideas that are readily available to markets, governments, and society. Innovation differs from invention in that innovation refers to the use of a better and, as a result, novel idea or method, whereas invention refers more directly to the creation of the idea or method itself.

The 'European Innovation Scoreboard' revealed that the EU has lost one fifth of its world share in R&D since 2005.

The clock is ticking as emerging economies like Brazil and China are rapidly bridging 'the innovation gap' between themselves and the EU. At the
same time Europe is losing more ground to the US and Japan.

As global competition intensifes and the traditional sources of advantage diminish, there is a danger of the edge becoming the core.


root thoughts | dasboard | ChatGPT | important inventions | technologies, risk and asset values | future internet | ROBOTS (Boston Dynamics, Pepper) | The Digital Festival |The Vanity Fair New Establishment | blockchain, cryptocurrencies and Web3| innovation Europe (eg. European Patent Office)


René Descartes' rationalist philosophy laid the foundation for enlightenment thinking. His attempt to found the sciences on a secure metaphysical foundation was not as successful as his method of doubt applied in philosophic areas leading to a dualistic doctrine of mind and matter. His skepticism was refined by John Locke's 1690 Essay Concerning Human Understanding and David Hume's writings in the 1740s. His dualism was challenged by Spinoza's uncompromising assertion of the unity of matter in his Tractatus (1670) and Ethics (1677).

These laid down two distinct lines of Enlightenment thought: the moderate variety, following Descartes, Locke and Christian Wolff which sought accommodation between reform and the traditional systems of power and faith and the radical enlightenment, inspired by the philosophy of Spinoza, advocating democracy, individual liberty, freedom of expression, and eradication of religious authority. The moderate variety tended to be deistic whereas the radical tendency separated the basis of morality entirely from theology. Both lines of thought were eventually opposed by a conservative Counter-Enlightenment, which sought a return to faith.

In the mid-18th century, Paris became the center of an explosion of philosophic and scientific activity challenging traditional doctrines and dogmas. The philosophic movement was led by Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who argued for a society based upon reason rather than faith and Catholic doctrine, for a new civil order based on natural law, and for science based on experiments and observation.

The political philosopher Montesquieu introduced the idea of a separation of powers in a government, a concept which was enthusiastically adopted by the authors of the United States Constitution. While the Philosophes of the French Enlightenment were not revolutionaries, and many were members of the nobility, their ideas played an important part in undermining the legitimacy of the Old Regime and shaping the French Revolution.

Ultimately, cornerstones of current societies have become the Magna Carta (concept of the rule of law), the Trias Politica (concept of power relations) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (based on Roosevelt's 'Four Freedoms' as the concept of the individual integrity, autonomy and responsibility) and were consolidated in the Copenhagen criteria on EU membership.

The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, a document that lists the fundamental rights of the citizens of the European Union, states that "the peoples of Europe are determined to share a peaceful future based on rights and common values: democracy, dignity, freedoms, equality, solidarity, tolerance, the rule of law, civil rights, justice.

The genesis, cornerstones and the Charter of Fundamental Rights are inspiring for citizens and must be promoted everywhere. But new adjustments (coupled with ethics) of financial-economic and social systems, forms of government, architectures are required to provide the values future proof.

In this way we cherish, maintain and defend the cornerstones, the Charter and new definitions, which serve as a future-proof basis for societies of the coming era of change


money, wheel, fire, electricity, the printing press, the steam engine, tv, oil refining, democracy, internet, automobile, telephone, refrigeration, legal system, capitalism, airplane, abacus, facebook, penicillin, solidarity, cotton gin, compass, multilateral cooperation, anesthesia, shipping container, blockchain, hyperloop

A feature of Western culture is its focus on science and technology, and its ability to generate new processes, materials and material artifacts. It was the West that first developed steam power and adapted its use into factories, and for the generation of electrical power. Nuclear power stations are derived from the first atomic pile in Chicago (1942). The electrical dynamo, transformer, electric motor, and electric light, and indeed most of the familiar electrical appliances, were inventions of the West. New communication devices and systems such as the telegraph, the telephone, fax, the transatlantic cable, radio and television, the communications and navigation satellites, mobile phones, the internet and the web can all be credited to the West. Furthermore, ubiquitous materials such as concrete, aluminum, clear glass, synthetic rubber, synthetic diamond and the plastics, among others, are all inventions of the West. Iron and steel ships, bridges and skyscrapers first appeared in the West. The pencil, ballpoint pen LCD, LED, the photograph, photocopy, laser printer and plasma display screen were too. The ship's chronometer, the engine powered screw propeller, the locomotive, bicycle, automobile, and aeroplane were all invented in the West. Eyeglasses, the telescope, and the microscope and electron microscope, all the varieties of chromatography, protein and DNA sequencing, x-rays, and light, ultraviolet and infrared spectroscopy, were all first developed and applied in Western laboratories, hospitals and factories.

In medicine, Vaccination, anesthesia, MRI, the birth control pill, and all the pure antibiotics were discovered in the West. The method of preventing Rh disease, the treatment of diabetes, and the germ theory of disease were discovered by Westerners. The eradication of that ancient scourge, smallpox, was led by a Westerner, Donald Henderson. Radiography, Computed tomography, Positron emission tomography and Medical ultrasonography are important diagnostic tools developed in the West. So were the stethoscope, electrocardiograph, and the endoscope. Vitamins, hormonal contraception, hormones, insulin, Beta blockers and ACE inhibitors, along with a host of other medically proven drugs were first utilised to treat disease in the West. The double-blind study and evidence-based medicine are critical scientific techniques widely used in the West for medical purposes.

In mathematics, calculus, statistics, logic, vector, tensor and complex analysis, group theory and topology were developed by Westerners. In biology, evolution, chromosomes, DNA, genetics and the methods of molecular biology are creatures of the West. In physics, the science of mechanics and quantum mechanics, relativity, thermodynamics, and statistical mechanics were all discovered by Westerners. The atom, nucleus, electron, neutron and proton were all unveiled by Westerners. Most of the elements, as well as the correct notion of elements themselves were discovered in the West. Nitrogen fixation and petrochemicals were achievements of Westerners. Chemistry itself became a science in the West.

Westerners are also known for their explorations of the globe and space. The first expedition to circumnavigate the Earth was by Westerners, as well as the first to set foot on the Poles, and the first to land on the moon. The landing of robots on Mars and on an asteroid, and the Voyager explorations of the outer planets were all achievements of Westerners.

Where there is capitalism, there can be real hope for improving the human condition. How vital technology is to improving the common good of humanity:

1) Small, modular nuclear reactors to generate electricity are getting support from governments. The E.U. is considering classifying nuclear energy as green energy.  President Joe Biden put $8.5 billion in his recent infrastructure program for nuclear energy.  Britain, Russia, China, Japan and South Korea all want a bigger role for nuclear energy.

2) Electric grids are planning to add gigawatts of battery storage capacity to their distribution networks.  The price of lithium-ion battery packs has fallen dramatically.

3) A professor at Arizona State University in the U.S. has developed a mechanical tree that removes CO2 from the atmosphere one thousand times more efficiently than natural trees.  The pretend trees rely on wind to blow air past resin-encrusted disks which absorb CO2.

4) The company, Footprint, sells plant-based biodegradable, compostable, recyclable, alternatives to single-use plastics.  Use of Footprint's material has eliminated 60 million pounds of plastic.

5) Tammy Hsu has programmed microbes to mimic the way color compounds occur in nature, using sugar to enzymatically produce the same blue shade as indigo dye does.  But indigo dye is produced with formaldehyde and cyanide, which are toxic to workers making blue jean fabric and the environment.  Hsu's dye can safely be made in factories.

6) The company, Heliogen, uses precisely positioned mirrors to concentrate sunlight to produce thermal energy up to 1000 degrees Celsius, hot enough for steel and cement production.  At present, steel and cement production uses heat that generates 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions

7) A sister company of Heliogen takes dirt and waste materials that can store energy and makes 35-ton blocks to stack in a tower, keeping the energy intact until it is needed.

8) New markets are emerging to take and resell slightly used clothing, reducing demand for new clothes. Most of the clothes thrown in landfills in America are good enough to be resold, if they can find a market. Clothing manufacture and distribution account for between 2% and 8% of global carbon emissions, more than aviation or shipping. Internet technology is reducing the friction preventing markets from redistributing clothing.  Think of the innovations brought about by Airbnb and Uber. Technology can now quickly match sellers with buyers, making markets for used clothing liquid.  There are now online clothing resellers.  Three are publicly listed.  In 2021, the total spent on used clothing was $36 billion, more than the $30 billion spent on "fast fashion."


creating a successful innovation policy
Nanotechnologies manipulate materials by breaking them down into an 'unimaginably small scale


digital agenda
for Europe

(European Commission)

European Research Area Policy Platform
European Commission:


Horizon Europe

science and technology cloud computing BBC FUTURE
Innovation in science, technology and industry
To address Europe's innovation gap, a new independent community body EIT (European Institute of Innovation and Technology) was set up. Aimed is to rapidly emerge as a key driver of EU sustainable growth and competitiveness through the stimulation of world-leading innovation.
Creativity and innovation contribute to economic prosperity as well as to social and individual wellbeing. the regional dimension, 8 and 9 July 2009

Electron shell 001 Hydrogen

Station Q, the quest for a quantum future
energy is not obvious

energy sources
and carriers
Rathenau Institute



ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence chatbot developed by OpenAI and launched in November 2022. It is built on top of OpenAI's GPT-3 family of large language models and has been fine-tuned (an approach to transfer learning) using both supervised and reinforcement learning techniques. ChatGPT is a member of the generative pre-trained transformer (GPT) family of language models.
There are implications for cybersecurity (writing phishing emails and malware) and academia (ChatGPT can write introduction and abstract sections of scientific articles, which raises ethical questions. Several papers have already listed ChatGPT as co-author).


technologies     risk and asset values
What are the technologies that will reshape our world? Independent experts identify 100 of them

Self-healing smartphones, asteroid mining for essential minerals and telepathic brain-to-brain communication enabled by technology. These are some examples of impressive innovations on the horizon presented in the new independent expert report 100 Radical Innovation Breakthroughs for the future published today.

The report is a foresight study displaying the progress and outlook for 100 ground breaking social and technological innovations. Some of the innovations, such as plant communication, are a long way off. Others, such as medical exoskeletons, are already being tested and used.

By capturing the most potentially impactful results, the report provides a strategic resource to policymakers and anyone concerned with the future of science, technology and innovation. It can create common references between different policies, may contribute to national and regional strategies, and spark discussion about the ethical and social implications of the coming waves of innovation.

And what about a profound reassessment of risk and asset values when talking impact of climate risk? Larry Fink

"Climate change has become a defining factor in companies' long-term prospects. Implications of physical climate risk is deepening our understanding of how climate risk will impact both our physical world and the global system that finances economic growth. Will cities, for example, be able to afford their infrastructure needs as climate risk reshapes the market for municipal bonds? What will happen to the 30-year mortgage – a key building block of finance – if lenders can't estimate the impact of climate risk over such a long timeline and if there is no viable market for flood or fire insurance in impacted areas? What happens to inflation and in turn interest rates, if the cost of food climbs from drought and flooding? How can we model economic growth if emerging markets see their productivity decline due to extreme heat and other climate impacts?" ...

"From Europe to Australia, South America to China, Florida to Oregon, investors are asking how they should modify their portfolios. They are seeking to understand both the physical risks associated with climate change as well as the ways that climate policy will impact prices, costs and demand across the entire economy." ... "As we approach a period of significant capital reallocation, companies have a responsibility – and an economic imperative – to give shareholders a clear picture of their preparedness." ...

"These questions are driving a profound reassessment of risk and asset values. And because capital markets pull future risk forward, we will see changes in capital allocation more quickly than we see changes to the climate itself. In the near future – and sooner than most anticipate – there will be a significant reallocation of capital." ...

"Our investment conviction is that sustainability and climate-integrated portfolios can provide better risk-adjusted returns to investors." ...

"In a letter to our clients today, BlackRock announced a number of initiatives to place sustainability at the center of our investment approach, including: making sustainability integral to portfolio construction and risk management; exiting investments that present a high sustainability-related risk, such as thermal coal producers; launching new investment products that screen fossil fuels; and strengthening our commitment to sustainability and transparency in our investment stewardship activities." ...

"The importance of serving stakeholders and embracing purpose is becoming increasingly central to the way that companies understand their role in society. As I have written in past letters, a company cannot achieve long-term profits without embracing purpose and considering the needs of a broad range of stakeholders. A pharmaceutical company that hikes prices ruthlessly, a mining company that shortchanges safety, a bank that fails to respect its clients – these companies may maximize returns in the short-term. But, as we have seen again and again, these actions that damage society will catch up with a company and destroy shareholder value. By contrast, a strong sense of purpose and a commitment to stakeholders helps a company connect more deeply to its customers and adjust to the changing demands of society. Ultimately, purpose is the engine of long-term profitability." ...

"Over time, companies and countries that do not respond to stakeholders and address sustainability risks will encounter growing skepticism from the markets and in turn, a higher cost of capital. Companies and countries that champion transparency and demonstrate their responsiveness to stakeholders, by contrast, will attract investment more effectively, including higher-quality, more patient capital"

(Larry Fink - Black Rock, January 2020).




We began as a spin-off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where we developed the first robots that ran and maneuvered like animals. Now we are taking the next step, combining the principles of dynamic control and balance with sophisticated mechanical designs, cutting-edge electronics, and software for perception, navigation, and intelligence.








Boston Dynamics has an extraordinary technical team of engineers and scientists who seamlessly combine advanced analytical thinking with bold engineering and boots-in-the-mud practicality.

Hello, I'm Pepper, a humanoid robot by Aldebaran United Robotics group designed with the ability to read emotions. I was introduced in a conference on 5 June 2014, and was showcased in Softbank mobile phone stores in Japan beginning the next day.

I was scheduled to be available in February 2015 at a base price of JPY 198,000 ($1,931) at Softbank Mobile stores.

My emotion comes from the ability to analyze expressions and voice tones.

My head has four microphones, two HD cameras (in the mouth and forehead), and a 3-D depth sensor (behind the eyes). There is a gyroscope in my torso and touch sensors in my head and hands. My mobile base has two sonars, six lasers, three bumper sensors, and a gyroscope. I'm able to run the existing content in the app store designed for Aldebaran's other robot, Nao. I'm not a functional robot for domestic use. Instead, I'm intended "to make people happy", enhance people's lives, facilitate relationships, have fun with people and connect people with the outside world. My creators hope that independent developers will create new content and uses for me.

I'm available as a research robot for schools, colleges and universities to teach programming and conduct research into human-robot interactions. In the United Kingdom, it is available through Rapid Electronics Limited for this purpose. I'm completely designed and built to keep you company and provide you information. I am deployed in retail and at the reception, provide a warm welcome or can be a good co-host. I speak very much to the imagination. The combination of voice and tablet offers unique innovative possibilities.


The Digital Festival   The Vanity Fair New Establishment
The Digital Festival was a one-day celebration of tech, ideas and global innovation, brought to life through talks, workshops, debates and performance. Alongside politics and law-making, Brussels is also home to a vibrant tech scene. The Festival bridged the gap between policymaker and innovator, who have an immeasurable amount to offer one another. From disruptive new startups blurring the lines between reality and virtual, to Artificial Intelligence and IoT, this was the Festival where independent talent, tech startups and industry leaders shared their vision with policymakers, press and the world. An even broader spectrum of digital communities and pioneers shaping our shared digital future during an exciting expanded programme with the focus on connectivity and inclusion.
With Michael Bloomberg, Bob Iger, Rem Koolhaas, Ion Musk, Preet Bharara, Amanda Burden, Brian Chesky, John Doerr, Mickey Drexler, Daniel Ek, Tony Hsieh, Mike Judge, Yuri Milner, Jonah Peretti, Richard Plepler, Eric Schmidt, Jeremy Stoppelman, Astro Teller, Peter Thiel, Bob Woodward, Reed Hastings, Tom Freston, Salman Khan and David Zaslav

In the 20th anniversary of the creation of its iconic New Establishment, Vanity Fair, in association with the Aspen Institute, presented its first conference—a unique opportunity to hear from the pioneers, influencers, and disrupters who have driven the age of innovation. An intimate forum at which the titans of technology, business, and media engaged in important, exclusive conversations.

The Vanity Fair New Establishment is the ultimate arbiter of the most influential names in the worlds of technology, media, the arts, and entertainment.

The year 2014 marked not only the 20th anniversary of the New Establishment issue but also the launch of Vanity Fair’s new annual franchise: the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit, in association with the Aspen Institute.

Unlike other conferences in Silicon Valley, the V.F. Summit is devoted to creating a dialogue around a range of subject matter—technology, media and entertainment, business, politics, and global affairs—debated by a powerful group of speakers to an equally impressive audience.


Vitalik Buterin (Ethereum): "it's not so much tokenizing the real-world assets, but I guess the question is what value are you getting by blocks unifying it"
As from 2009, triggered by the crisis, the idea was taken to enable the possibility to exchange values and to set off outside normal institutes.

This led to the discovery of the bitcoin and blockchain, the technology behind all cryptocurrencies and the sharing of a digital accounting system in which every transaction made with a coin can be followed.

(Ethereum, a global, open-source platform for decentralized applications. On Ethereum, you can write code that controls digital value, runs exactly as programmed, and is accessible anywhere in the world)
Web3 is an idea for a new iteration of the World Wide Web which incorporates concepts such as decentralization, blockchain technologies, and token-based economics. The term "Web3" was coined in 2014 by Ethereum co-founder
Gavin Wood, and the idea gained interest in 2021 from cryptocurrency enthusiasts, large technology companies, and venture capital firms.




A blockchain is a distributed database that maintains a continuously-growing list of ordered records called blocks. Each block contains a timestamp and a link to a previous block. By design blockchains are inherently resistant to modification of the data — once recorded, the data in a block cannot be altered retroactively.

Blockchains are secure by design and an example of a distributed computing system with high byzantine fault tolerance. Decentralised consensus can therefore be achieved with a blockchain. This makes blockchains suitable for the recording of events, title, medical records and other records management activities, identity management, transaction processing and proving provenance. This offers the potential of mass disintermediation and vast repercussions for how global trade is conducted.

The first blockchain was conceptualised by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 and implemented the following year as a core component of the digital currency bitcoin, where it serves as the public ledger for all transactions. Through the use of a peer-to-peer network and a distributed timestamping server, a blockchain database is managed autonomously.

The invention of the blockchain for bitcoin made it the first digital currency to solve the double spending problem, without the use of a trusted authority or central server. The bitcoin design has been the inspiration for other applications.



Blockchain is the foundation for the second era of the internet – an internet of value, where anything of value, including money, our identities, cultural assets like music, and even a vote can be stored, managed, transacted, and moved in a secure, private way.

Blockchains and tokens can play a crucial role in the infrastructure layer of our digital economy and is poised to transform every industry and managerial function —redefining the way we make transactions, share ideas, and manage workflow. They offer an alternative to the current practice in which important parts of the information and communication infrastructure are proprietary: owned by corporates, governmental organizations, unicorns and (aspiring) startups.

This infrastructure works much better in our globalized, interconnected society when it is “commonized”, i.e. when it becomes part of the digital commons. A commonized infrastructure provides a completely new level playing field for creating and delivering added value and thus for private companies to compete and flourish.

an independent, global think-tank, co-founded by Don and Alex Tapscott

To empower blockchain networks to work together under the protection of shared security, technology to disrupt centralised online services and to enable institutional innovation, Parity is developing and Polkadot is building to connect private and consortium chains, public and permissionless networks, oracles, and future technologies that are yet to be created.

Polkadot facilitates an internet where independent blockchains can exchange information and transactions in a trustless way via the Polkadot relay chain. Polkadot makes it easier than ever to create and connect decentralized applications, services, and institutions.

By empowering innovators to build better solutions, we seek to free society from its reliance on a broken web where its large institutions can’t violate our trust.

Shaping a better society through blockchain

A lot of companies, organizations and entrepreneurs in the Netherlands are already taking the first steps into the world of blockchain, but most of the applications and innovations still revolve around bitcoin, and blockchain applications seldom find their way to consumers or end users.

There’s a lack of paying customers, which in turn creates a lack of startups, and because the technology is so new, the outcomes are sometimes uncertain, making it too risky for a lot of people in decision making positions.

Bruegel Think Tank organised the event 'The Implications of Blockchain Platforms': Blockchain technology will have the same to value as the internet had been to communication, is said.
There are principal advantages of decentralized ledger systems, such as blockchain, over traditional centralized ledger systems currently used by banks. While the latter have to be heavily secured, are costly, and do not allow innovation easily, the former is more resistant and resilient to attacks, cheaper to maintain, simpler in managing, more scalable and could be used for innovation. In addition, transactions can be done in real-time and without a verification system based on trust.

Business, academics, the European Commission and gave their views on platforms, glimpse at the future, the benefit and disruptons blockchain brings

GBBC is the leading industry association for the blockchain technology ecosystem, showcasing how blockchain technology can be used to advance the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and working alongside businesses to ensure that blockchain technology delivers the expected results and impact, and ultimately works towards changing the world for the better.

February 9, 2022, Sandra Ro gave testimony at a full Committee Hearing on 'Examining Digital Assets: Risks, Regulation, and Innovation' in the Senate office building


An open innovation program that connects governmental, corporate, and non-profit partners to breakthrough solutions based on blockchain and AI, and fosters the creation of interconnected, multi-stakeholder ecosystems that collaboratively solve complex 21st-century challenges.
Odyssey mobilizes a global community of key stakeholders through a series of preparatory events, the world’s biggest blockchain & AI hackathon, and a decentralized business incubation program to scale and adopt the best solutions.
Joining the 2-day knowledge echange event helped innovators, builders, governments, corporates, and non-profit partners to turn knowledge into impactful action.

Odyssey Connect is a curation of over 30 deep dives which provided prospective Odyssey Hackathon participants with all the relevant input to successfully tackle the challenges. Thought leaders inspired those who want to tackle complex 21st-century challenges with a multi-disciplinary perspective on problem-solving.

On Day 1, the 21 challenges were discovered as the root causes behind them. This was a perfect opportunity to learn which challenges resonate and how you could make an impact. Governmental, corporate, and non-profit partners can explore synergies between challenges to strengthen collaboration.


On Day 2, ecosystem members, international experts and visionaries provided insights into the right tools that teams could use. Participants could learn about state-of-the-art technologies and building blocks in their solutions.


  innovation Europe
As a follow up and following new developments, a second summit on innovation was held in May 2012: AND HOW CAN EUROPE BE MORE INNOVATE? To generate economic growth, creation of a successful innovation policy is integral to this objective. Examined was what needs to be done to enable the public and private sector to pioneer breakthrough innovations. With policy-makers unable to use large amounts of public money to relaunch their economies, industry players, governments and citizens must engage in a continous reinvention of their activities by finding new ways to share and develop resources. Only this combination of factors will deliver sustainable growth.
CEPS in cooperation with Ernst & Young organised summits on creating a successful innovation policy. Surely, innovation is one of the cornerstones of Europe's knowledge-based economy. The EU 2020 strategy defined the 'Innovation Union' as one of the flagship initiatives that are needed to guarantuee and strengthen the EU's position in an increasingly globalized world.

The summits were a platform for discussion and the exchange of ideas between the EU and the business community on how to develop policies that will engage the business community and stimulate real and powerful innovation and entrepeneurship within the EU. Innovation is a key for the future of the EU as a competitive market, as well as for the survival of European business: Innovation Union, turning ideas into jobs, green growth and social progress. Feeling Europe participated and delivered the paper 'The Next Opportunity to Make Headway', resonance in the form of a compilation of information and to show notions and views, that keeps citizens busy.

Presentation European Commission February 2011
There is need of existence of a believe in progress thinking and of people with minds with special bumps. Drivers will steer direction and governance will take care that aimed goals will be achieved.

The summit started with a keynote speech by Herman van Rompuy, President European Council. "Innovation has a lot to do with behaviour, risk taking, motivation and education. You can't have a society of very creative people only based on financial stimulus," the former Belgian premier said Wednesday (4 May) during a conference organised by Ernst&Young on innovation and the role of government in supporting it.

Van Rompuy said that "societal problems in Belgium and elsewhere" in the EU mean that people "live in a climate of despair and are depressed." But in order for Europe to remain at the cutting edge of innovation in areas ranging from energy to agriculture, services and digital technologies, "we need a dynamic and positive society," based on competition "but also on generosity." The financial and subsequent economic crises "can help," he said, noting that in the past year, EU institutions have evolved a lot. "But crisis can be very depressive. Only negative messages from leaders are the wrong message coming out of the crisis. The positive outlook is key for a dynamic society," he stressed.

Noting that according to the EU's own estimates, the bloc will fall behind Asia and the US by 2025 in terms of innovation, Van Rompuy said he will not let EU leaders hide behind nice pledges, after they agreed earlier this year to give priority to areas such as education, innovation and energy.

"We will not allow this process to become a slow bureaucratic exercise, but we will follow it closely," he said. At an upcoming EU summit mid-June, a first assessment of these policies and country-specific recommendations will be made. "Early 2012, I want to know what member states concretely did in the one year period to boost innovation, even in harsh times of austerity. What did they do to increase the share of innovative products and services in public procurement, to stimulate green growth, to prove the use of EU funding allocated to research and innovation," Van Rompuy said. After the speech, Herman Van Rompuy said that, if Europe is to remain relevant as an innovative economy, people need to be more positive and entrepreneurial and not let themselves be depressed by the economic crisis and subsequent austerity measures.

Logo European Patent Office
EPO (European Patent Office)

With expert, well-supported staff, motivated to set worldwide standards in quality and efficiency, EPO continue to contribute to innovation across Europe, and play a leading role in developing an effective global patent system. All our relationships - within our Office and with partners around the world - will prosper through trust, transparency, fairness and mutual respect. Our processes will empower our people to use their knowledge and skills to the full. EPO supports innovation, competitiveness and economic growth across Europe through a commitment to high quality and efficient services delivered under the European Patent Convention. The organisation is an intergovernmental organisation that was set up on 7 October 1977 on the basis of the European Patent Convention (EPC) signed in Munich in 1973. It has two bodies, the European Patent Office and the Administrative Council, which supervises the Office's activities.

Modern day inventors, the intellectual descendants of Archimedes and Alexander Graham Bell, will soon be able to obtain low cost patents, enforceable across Europe. With the assent of 480 members of the EU Parliament, in a deal brokered with the EU Council, the final hurdle towards the establishment of a EU-wide patent office was cleared 14 December 2012. "Intellectual property must not stop at the borders". Intellectual property has become a defining element of modern business practice and patents serve an ever more important task - safeguarding innovation.

At present, obtaining a patent, enforceable in all of the member states, is a bureaucratic and costly endeavour, requiring separate patents to be obtained from each member state at costs of up to EUR 36,000 according to figures quoted by the European Parliament. According to the new plans an EU patent may cost as little as EUR 4,725. Considering the international environment, where patents can be obtained in markets such as the US, Japan and China for a mere fraction of the cost, this timely package will undoubtedly assist businesses across the continent, as well as strengthening its hand in international negotiations with the world's leading economies. The new patent system will be governed by a newly established body, the European Patent Organisation (EPO), which is established outside of the EU institutions and answerable to a European Patent Court (EPC). The new system will come into force from January 2014, allowing time for the ratification process to conclude with the member state governments.

Applications for a patent under the new system must be submitted in English, German or French. Mindful of the effect such submission might have on businesses, particularly SME's operating in other national languages within the union, the EU Parliament fought to ensure that the costs involved in obtaining translations for a successful application could be reimbursed. Given that patent submissions may be given in English, the UK is unlikely to be negatively affected by the language restrictions. However, renewal fees, which often account for a significant amount of patent costs, are to be set at levels that take account of the special needs of small firms, which will ensure that low costs prevail.

Although the measure obtained today falls short of a unitary policy, with Italy and Spain choosing to stay outside the new patent it nevertheless provides a more resilient and business friendly package, certain to strengthen innovation. The vote received praise from the Conservative Group, with UK MEP Sajjad Karim, who was involved in negotiations on the new package hailing the measure as a "major advance for the intellectual-property rights of inventors" and in a firm rebuttal to euro sceptics went on to state that "Rather than eroding sovereignty, the measures guarantee that UK businesses will not have to litigate all across Europe but under a single court system which uses English as one of its main languages.

: Innovation policy is increasingly coming under the spotlight in the European Union, and has been given a prominent role in the EU 2020 strategy and in the flagship initiatives that will aim to ensure that Europe succeeds where the Lisbon strategy failed.
In years to come, problems such as the fragmentation of competences at EU and member state level; the need to fill the ‘skills gap’ and address the changing nature of innovation; the absence of a Community patent and a common framework for litigation; the need to refine the EU policy on technology transfer and standardisation; and the need to provide suitable funding instruments to boost the potential of innovative companies will all take on more urgency.

The CEPS Task Force on Innovation Policy – chaired by Maria Anvret – reflected on these issues between September 2009 and May 2010. The Report, drafted by Rapporteurs Massimilano Granieri and Andrea Renda on the basis of contributions by industry representatives, officials of EU institutions, academics and practitioners provides recommendations on all the above-mentioned issues, with a view to contributing to one of the greatest challenges of today: unlocking the EU’s innovation potential and promoting its competitiveness in a global economy.

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CEPS presented the new approach. Representatives of the European Commission, DG Research and Innovation and DG Enterprise and Industry, of the University of Foggia, Italy and of the business (Volvo, VNO-NCW, Microsoft) cleared up and illustrated it during a meeting 18 February 2011. Governance system is complex, Entrepeneurship is at the heart of Europe 2020, but too few of them innovate, for SME's and industry strengthening the knowledge base, getting good ideas to markets and tracking progress matter as out of the box thinking and enterprising spirit and skills do.


The past decade saw a gradual European ‘lag’ vis-à-vis the US, Asian tigers and several emerging economies in terms of research, development and innovation (R&D&I). The 2009 European Innovation Scoreboard has shown positive signs in some regions, but overall innovative investments by businesses still appear relatively weak.
Importantly, highly dynamic sectors such as ICT (information communication technology) account for almost one half of EU productivity growth, but at the same time are also the main reason for the US-EU gap. Re-launching Europe’s ICT sector becomes even more crucial with the upcoming European Digital Agenda, which promises to contribute an estimated €500 billon, or 4% of GDP to the EU economy

Various reasons account for Europe’s gap, certainly including the current fragmentation of the Internal Market and the absence of welldeveloped venture capital; the overly complex governance of EU funding mechanisms, coupled with the extreme fragmentation of funding tools; the red tape associated with access to public funds; the limited mobility of skilled workers throughout the EU27; the absence of legal certainty as regards patent law, technology transfer and standardisation processes; the distance between market needs and public innovation policies; and many others.

Today, nothing is more important for the re-launch of the EU project than unleashing the potential for EU competitiveness through innovation.
EU institutions endorsed this view in the recently adopted EU2020 strategy, which announces seven flagship initiatives, of which at least five are intimately linked with innovation (Innovation Union, Digital Agenda, Resource Efficient Europe, A New Industrial Policy for the new globalisation era and an Agenda for new skills and jobs)

In the report, it is argued that Europe must take a proactive stance towards innovation policy and must do it in a way that accounts for the systemic and changing nature of innovation. The EU approach to innovation policy must be integrated and comprehensive, and should include, inter alia, education policy: the availability of skills should not be seen as limited to improving the attractiveness of Europe to highly qualified European students and researchers; on the contrary, Europe must compete internationally to attract the best skills available worldwide.

The EU approach should also be flexible, since the nature of innovation has changed enormously in the past decade and has also become sector-specific. Today, in some sectors (e.g. ICT) collaboration between market players for the development of complex system goods has become standard practice, and calls for the definition of clear rules related to the standardisation process. At the same time, in other sectors (e.g. chemicals and nanotechnology) the concept of ‘open innovation’ is permeating new business models, blurring the boundaries between individual firms’ R&D efforts and leading to a blossoming new era of collaboration.

The panel of discussants, chaired by Staffan Jerneck (CEPS), featured Maria Anvret (Task Force Chair, Gothenburg University), Ann-Sofie Rönnlund (DG Research and Innovation), Katja Reppel (DG Enterprise and Industry), Massimiliano Granieri (Rapporteur, University of Foggia), Andrea Renda (Rapporteur, CEPS), Lars-Goran Rosengren (Volvo AB) and Joke Van den Bandt (VNO-NCW). CEPS continues the debate on the role of innovation policy for a EU digital single market in its Digital Forum (, which meets next on March 18th, to debate the findings of the CEPS Task Force Report on Critical Infrastructure Protection in the EU.

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One of the breakout sessions during the World Foresight Forum was called 'Technology for innovative solutions' and did fit within the topic 'Science & Technology'. In only half an hour a small group of participants designed a model from out zero in order to be able to innovate, to steer innovation and to conditions that can come to break-throughs. During inventive discussions and argumentations it appeared that there was plenty of enthusiasm, motivation, insight and response to lay down notions for a (complex) model.

'Technology, the tool for humand kind, 'can solve anything'. We need inventors, talent, high education, smart skilled people, call it an 'engeneer society'. Research is required. Around us, there are numberless phenomenia, which will steer a further cause of things: banking processes are lacking, population growth, demands for rescouces, political will influence the process. We also need to use more our human spiritual capacities and organs of senses, such as imagination, creativity, to be able to exchange, to build, connect, discuss, see, hear, learn and to handle multidiscipline way of thinking. Parts from social and moral fields should also be bound up within innovation-processes.

Not only effects on behaviour came also up for discussion (suggested was to adapt behaviour before new things will occur), but also to take innovation up in business-models and to focus on small regions. However, there are also difficult sides. Opposite vested interests (oil, labour, etc.) can create obstacles, by which implementation will be hampered. Suggested was to integrate feed back loops (self and to others). In this connection, also insecurity (e.g. concerning ict - cyberattack) was discussed. Smart usage to change and to achieve the aimed sustainable result, is therefore a need, including a deep and common integration of innovation, including communication on the matter and culture awareness.

Some present drivers, which will trigger innovation, are internet (cloud computing) and the internet of things, 'cities hub' (economic growth, plan, cleaner (low emissions) and safer), quantity of raw materials, healthcare (innovation can achieve both same level and lower costs) and availability of and access to money