Ministers, secretaries of state and other high-level representatives of EUREKA member countries met on Friday the 30th June 2017 in Madrid to discuss new steps forward for EUREKA and reinforce its key position in the European innovation space.
Based on EUREKA’s long experience in promoting innovation within Europe and the success of its more recent outreach to the rest of the world, the decision was taken that the initiative should refocus its activity along two main axes in the coming years:
- Reinforcing the global element of its work by adopting the “Strategy for EUREKA Internationalisation 2025”, with the objective of making EUREKA the preferred tool for European industry to cooperate globally in R&D.
- Strengthening synergies with other actors, and especially with the European Union, in order to reinforce its contribution more generally to the European innovation space, and in particular to the European Research and Innovation Area (ERIA), the 9th Framework Programme (FP9) and the future European Innovation Council (EIC).
“Government support to innovation is a great investment to the economy. Eureka is a clear example of such contribution”, said Spanish Minister of Economy and Competitiveness Luis de Guindos.
Change of Chairmanship
Nearly 500 company projects from the more than 40 countries that currently form the network have obtained the EUREKA Label during the Spanish Chairmanship. This is the highest number of projects labelled during a one-year mandate in the history of EUREKA. More than 1 300 companies and nearly 450 research centres having participated, the potential investment amounts to more than one billion euros.
Finland is a founding member of EUREKA. Represented by Tekes, the Finnish government’s innovation agency and a key player in financing research, development and innovation, it is the second time that it takes over the chairmanship of this network.
Tekes promotes a broad-based view on innovation: besides funding technological breakthroughs, Tekes emphasizes the significance of service-related, design, business, and social innovations. Every year, Tekes finances some 1,500 business research and development projects, and almost 600 public research projects at universities, research institutes and universities of applied sciences.
After Finland, the UK will take over the EUREKA Chairmanship from July 2018 to June 2019.