The Entrepreneurial Manifesto of EBS

After two days of discussions, the European
Business Summit has called for a more innovative and a more
creative Europe in a less regulated Internal
Market

As media partner of EBS, euractiv.com has covered
the

European Business Summit

which was held in Brussels from June 9th to the 11th.

You will find below a coverage of the event showing the
most striking issues which were expressed by policy-makers
(no less than 11 Commissioners attended the Summit) as well
as by top business leaders (incl. Steve Ballmer, President
and CEO, Microsoft).


Quotes Extracted from the Opening
Session


Workshops’ Content


Main Conclusions


Opening Session

In his opening address,
Gui de Vaucleroy (President FEB-VBO, Belgian
Employers)

, stressed the need to “initiate
a much needed dialogue between business-leaders and
policy-makers

“. Indeed, ”
already 60% of new regulations are promulgated by
the European Union and 70% of these European regulations
affect businesses

. The businessman has [therefore] to become acquainted with
European policy-making institutions at all levels”.
Unfortunately, policy-makers are too often not aware about
business practices.

Prince Philippe of Belgium

, for his part, raised a question which underlay the
three-day event:”Isn’t innovation much wider than just
R&D?” He went on: “I strongly believe that
innovation is a frame of mind, something you carry
within you

. It is not limited to the economic world. Innovation is
part of all human activity, it can be found in all layers
of society”.

The third introductory address was delivered by
Steve Ballmer, President and CEO of
Microsoft

. Mr. Ballmer wanted to give a lesson of optimism to his
European audience affirming that ”
innovation comes from dream

“. In other words, disbelief has to be suspended if one
wants to become creative and innovative. He then
reminded the audience that Microsoft’s approach to
creativity was above all based on two action lines: the
“vision” (including the hiring of technical visionaries)
and the listening of customers and partners. He ended
his speech calling for the govenments to rapidly become
e-Governments

because “they
have to show the way

“.

Commissioner Liikanen

(in charge of Enterprise and the Information Society) posed
crucial questions: ”
The information technologies offer enormous
opportunities. But is Government too slow to act? Is the EU
too heavy and bureaucratic to seize the opportunity? Are
they over-regulating, again?

” For Mr. Liikanen, there is no other way, Europe must
release its entrepreneurial and innovative potential: ”
Europe needs to build a new culture of
entrepreneurship. The entrepreneurial spirit should be
nurtured from an early age. Courses on enterprise need to
be part of school and university curricula. To be an
entrepreneur should be one of the choices available to
everyone

“. He added: ”
We need to cut the red tape

. Setting up a new business today involves delays or
excessive costs. Company registration should be simple and
user-friendly – why not through the internet?” Refering to
Oscar Wilde’s claim that “experience is the name we give to
our mistakes”, he affirmed that ”
failure [should] be regarded as part of the
learning curve

“. Regarding
eEurope 2002 Action Plan

, he reminded the
three major topics

: 1) a
cheaper, faster, and more secure Internet

(“[…] the Commission is determined to drive the
liberalisation of the telecommunications markets until the
very end”); 2)
stimulate the use of Internet, including
e-commerce

(local loop unbundling must happen this year); 3
) investing in people and skills

(“[…] connecting schools is a priority. The governments
have the main responsibility, but industry support is
needed, also to close the skills gap”). About the social
dimension of the information society, the Commissioner was
very clear: ”
An inclusive information society is in the interest
of business too.

The more people are Internet literate and on-line,
the more business opportunities there will be

. […] As the number of people on-line grows, the value of
the network grows exponentially.
The information society is an area where social
justice and economic dynamism go hand in hand

“.


Workshops

Twelve workshops were organised in four series of
four concurrent sessions covering four main clusters
related to innovation challenges:

The

<font>first cluster

 of workshops examines companies’ pathways to
innovation: strategy, processes, organisation and
resources.


The  

<font>second cluster

 investigates how innovative businesses explore new
markets or reinvent traditional ones.

The

<font>third cluster

 discusses how the legal and regulatory framework can
be transformed to better support the capacity of companies
to innovate.

The

<font>fourth cluster

discusses ways for companies to mobilise their key inputs
to innovate: people and money.


Main Conclusions

The main conclusions of the Summit were presented by
Lorenzo C. Lamadrid, President and CEO of Arthur D.
Little:

* Sucessful innovation encompasses more than vision

* The Internet revolution is a tremendous vehicle for
innovation

* Deregulation is a crucial incentive for innovation

* Intellectual property protection must be faster and
less cumbersome

* Europe needs to catch up in providing the skills and
conditions for entrepreneurship and risk-taking

* Strategic alliance is a new flexible way to achieve
continuous growth through innovation in a fast changing
world

***********************

EURACTIV Forum on Innovation

If you want to express your views on the following
topics, Innovation and Information Society, please do not
hesitate to participate in our dedicated

forum

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