Innovation & Industry Archives

  • Information technology and innovation for SMEs


    Information and communications technology (ICT) has a key role to play in driving innovation and competitiveness for small businesses and the IT sector itself. But equipping the labour force with the right skills and providing access to high-tech infrastructure are essential if the full potential of ICT is to be harnessed.

  • Copyright protection of online content

    Digital 20-03-2009

    As cultural content migrates online on a massive scale, legal battles are multiplying to prevent piracy, protect copyright and make money out of this growing business.

  • European Year of Creativity and Innovation

    Special Report | Trade & Society 26-02-2009

    The European Commission has received much praise for putting innovation and creativity at the centre of attention in 2009, but it remains to be seen whether the special year can go beyond mere symbolism and deliver concrete results at a time when Europe is engulfed in a global economic recession.

  • Public Procurement: Buying Green? [Archived]

    Sustainable Development 21-10-2008

    The EU is promoting the use of public procurement in its member states as a means of kick-starting the market for eco-innovative goods and services and achieving its environmental goals in a cost-efficient manner.

  • Nanotechnology

    Science & Policymaking 07-10-2008

    Nanotechnology, which concerns the study of and working with matter on an ultra-small scale, is widely perceived as one of the key technologies of the 21st century with a potential to grow into a 1 trillion euro industry within a decade. Fears are growing that the field could develop into a political battleground with fiery debates about environmental and ethical consequences and dangers - just as has happened in the field of biotechnology.

  • Radio Frequency Identification tags (RFID)

    Digital 06-10-2008

    Minute tags embedded in many different physical devices link up the material world with the information super-highway. Technological obstacles, regulatory issues and privacy concerns must, however, be dealt with before the technology can be implemented to its full potential. 

  • Growth and Jobs: Relaunch of the Lisbon strategy


    On 22-23 March 2005, the Spring Council discussed the Commission's mid-term review of the Lisbon strategy for economic, social and environmental renewal. More focus on growth and employment, simplification and national ownership via national action plans are the key elements to relaunch the Lisbon reforms agenda.

  • Knowledge and technology transfer


    EU firms are struggling to better exploit public-funded research and transform findings into patents and innovations that generate growth. Barriers to collaboration between the public and private sectors still exist, in particular when it comes to sharing revenues and costs.

  • Nanotechnology and consumer confidence


    Nanotechnology is considered as being the next strategic technology, but consumer confidence in the safety of nanotech products is a precondition for their future commercialisation and market uptake. 

  • Personalised healthcare

    Health 09-06-2008

    The European Commission is promoting hi-tech solutions to prevent chronic diseases and meet the health challenges of the 21st century. 

  • Urban mobility research

    Science & Policymaking 06-06-2008

    Urban-specific research on intelligent transport systems, interoperability and land use planning is being carried out to resolve the multiple problems faced by Europe's bustling cities.

  • European Institute of Innovation and Technology


    The Commission proposes to establish a European Institute of Technology (EIT), on the model of the famous MIT based in the US, to link the three aspects of the 'knowledge triangle' - research, education and innovation. The aim is to speed up knowledge-transfer to boost innovation. But the proposal has run into criticism, forcing the Commission to water down its ambitions.

  • Flexicurity: Europe’s employment solution?

    Economy & Jobs 25-01-2008

    Flexicurity, first developed as a labour market policy in the Nordic countries, has been endorsed by EU leaders and the European Commission as a way of solving the Union's employment problem. However, as a new Commission faces up to Europe's worst recession for many decades, doubts have emerged as to how committed member states are towards flexicurity and making it work across the EU.

  • Investing in research


    In line with the goal of creating a European Research Area, the Commission and member states have agreed to increase investment in research and development activities to 3% of GDP by 2010.

  • Lead markets – gateway to growth?


    Lead markets are markets in which EU industry can develop a global competitive advantage provided that it gets support from the public sector as regulator, customer and facilitator.

  • Galileo

    Security 12-12-2007

    The Galileo satellite navigation system is the European civil alternative to the US Global Positioning System (GPS) and the Russian GLONASS, both funded and controlled by military authorities.

  • e-Skills


    In a joint effort, industry and the EU seek to make as many EU residents as possible computer-literate. They profit professionally and in their private lives, and the potential benefits for the economy are huge. 

  • Equal Opportunities

    Social Europe & Jobs 13-07-2007

    In spite of the action taken at European level for eliminating discrimination, much remains to be done. In order to promote equality in the EU, 2007 was designated the ‘Year of Equal Opportunities for All’.

  • i2010

    Digital 08-06-2007

    The Commission’s i2010 programme aims to promote convergence in information and communication technologies by 2010, an ambition that Brussels considers vital to the overall objective of boosting innovation and jobs.

  • SME growth: Key to Europe’s economy


    Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) are potentially the most dynamic sector of the economy. Their growth is key for the overall economic well-being. The Commission has several programmes and measures in place to promote SME growth. 

  • Communicating science


    There is a general lack of understanding of how advances in science and technology affect our lives. Against this background, controversial or sensational reporting on food safety, GMOs, bird flu, global warming or, for example, stem cell research can leave citizens confused and frightened and science misunderstood. This is why scientists are increasingly asked to communicate their work to a wider audience and science communicators and the media to act as the responsible bridge between the scientists and society.

  • Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights

    Digital 26-04-2007

    In the face of the rising counterfeiting and piracy across Europe, the Commission is proposing a historical but controversial Directive that would - for the first time ever - force member states to adjust their penal codes and establish harmonised criminal sanctions against IPR-infringers.

  • ERA – European Research Area


    The creation of a European Research Area (ERA) is about creating a genuine European 'internal market' for research to increase pan-European co-operation and co-ordination of national research activities.

  • Chemicals Policy review (REACH)

    Science & Policymaking 05-04-2007

    After years of heated debate, EU lawmakers agreed on a far-reaching proposal to review the way chemicals are approved in Europe, placing the burden on businesses to prove their products are safe before they can be placed on the market. The system, called Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of CHemicals (REACH), aims to make chemicals safer for human health and the environment and to stimulate innovation in the sector. It comes into force in June 2007.

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