Bridging the innovation gap: how can The European Union "do more and better with less"?

In the aftermath of the pandemic, the European Union (EU) is drawing the first lessons from the crisis. "Strengthening the economic resilience of the European Union (...) and policy autonomy for key technologies and value chains are strategic priorities1". The draft Multiannual Financial Framework (2021-2027) 2 and the European Commission's "Next Generation EU" recovery plan3 are sized accordingly. The challenge is crucial: to accelerate the transformation of the European economy in response to societal and environmental challenges. The trajectory is clear: to resolutely engage in the transition towards a green, sustainable and digital Europe.
The deployment and scaling up of breakthrough innovations and enabling technologies (cloud, Internet of Things, robotics) are necessary to achieve these ambitious objectives. We mean disruptive innovation, i.e. the deployment of new technologies whose building blocks will feed a continuous cycle of innovations for the creation of future markets. The immense technological needs call for the broadest possible partnerships at national and international level between data scientists, researchers, academics, small and large enterprises to accelerate the innovation cycle. The pandemic is putting its growth strategy to the test: companies' cash flow has deteriorated, competition has been distorted by the massive capital injections by some Member States for restructuring and rescuing companies, the Internal Market is fragmented from a regulation and taxation perspective, etc. In this context, how can the EU do more and better with less?
In the global race for innovation, the EU needs to catch up (1). The new industrial strategy makes it possible to redefine a level playing field, provided that it benefits both businesses and the public sector (2). We will therefore examine the public policy levers that make it possible to close the innovation gap, the key to European strategic autonomy (3).

by Dahlia Kownator

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