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Top European corporate R&D investors set to increase innovation efforts by 5% a year

Top R&D investing companies based in the EU expect their global research and development (R&D) investments to grow by 5% annually from 2011 to 2013. This is more than double last year's expectations, and represents a significant upturn from the 2.6% R&D cuts in investment implemented by these companies in 2009. The companies surveyed also revealed that an average of 27% of their annual sales comes from innovative products introduced in the past three years, demonstrating again that innovation is the key to commercial success and to job creation.

Read more: Top European corporate R&D investors set to increase innovation efforts by 5% a year

the Smart Specialisation platform

Commission launches the "Smart Specialisation platform" to further boost innovation in the EU regions

On 23 June 2011, the Commission launches the "smart specialisation platform" to support regions and Member States in better defining their research and innovation strategies. As there is no "one-size-fits-all" policy solution, the new facility will help the regions to assess their specific Research and Innovation (R&I) strengths and weaknesses and build on their competitive advantage. This is another step on the path to achieving the objectives set by the Member States in the field of research and innovation as part of the Europe 2020 strategy.

Read more: the Smart Specialisation platform

Calls: €7bn for cutting-edge research

The EU's latest call for research proposals focuses on innovation and getting good ideas to market.
About €7bn is available for this round of grants, part of the €53bn available through the current research funding programme for 2007 to 2013.
Research teams from the EU and beyond can apply for the funds, which are helping Europe to develop world-class research and close the innovation gap between the EU and its main competitors, the US and Japan.
To build up science and innovation, the EU wants to increase spending on research to 3% of gross domestic product by 2020 (from 2% in 2009). Achieving that target could create 3.7 million jobs and boost annual growth by about €800bn.
The call for research proposals also addresses the aims of the EU's "innovation union" policy. This flagship initiative of the Europe 2020 growth and job strategy will stimulate and speed up innovation in Europe, while removing bottlenecks that prevent good ideas from reaching the market.
Research grants will target such areas as:
active and healthy ageing - helping older people lead active and independent lives is the first European innovation partnership, combining public and private research
information and communication technologies - network and service infrastructures, nano- and micro-systems, photonics, robotics, digital content, language, health and energy-efficiency
collaborative projects among European researchers and helping them commercialise discoveries
supporting researchers - about 10 000 will receive funding through the Marie Curie programme, under which a pilot project is being launched to encourage entrepreneurship and cooperation among universities, research bodies and private companies
environmental challenges - climate change, biodiversity loss, achieving resource efficiency
safer and healthier food - investments in a strong bio-economy, improving production methods
nanotechnologies - research into behaviour of particles at atomic and molecular levels could lead to new types of factories, greener cars and energy efficient buildings
cleaner, safer and more efficient transport and mobility
About 16 000 recipients will receive grants for research projects this year. About €1bn will be used to help small and medium-sized businesses innovate.
inno_union_logo2The EU's latest call for research proposals focuses on innovation and getting good ideas to market.
About €7bn is available for this round of grants, part of the €53bn available through the current research funding programme for 2007 to 2013.

Read more: Calls: €7bn for cutting-edge research