VINNOVA, the main funding agency for EUREKA projects companies and research organizations wishing to participate in EUREKA projects, welcomes and supports the efforts to discuss and further develop Community innovation policies. VINNOVA also agrees with the general description of the importance of innovation for long term sustainable growth and as a mean to address major societal challenges, as well as the observations on how the preconditions for innovation in Europe and the rest of the world are changing rapidly.
VINNOVA pays special attention to the the support for the SMEs, and sees them as becoming increasingly important as change agents in the economy, as important channels for commercialization of research and as sources of new growth companies.
The solutions addressing the important challenges concerning the stimulation of growth of innovative SMEs, must be firmly based on a European Added Value perspective. This is especially important when it comes to public support to SMEs, since assessment of growth potential and competencies of SMEs applying for support often requires local knowledge and proximity.
A negative feature of current Community Programmes, especially problematic from the point of view of SMEs, is the prolonged selection processes. As a contrast, multilateral collaborations, such as EUREKA and EUROSTARS, are often brought forward as examples of regulations more adapted to the reality of targeted group of SMEs. Preferably a future Community Innovation Policy should include the possibility to top-up successful multinational or national programmes as was done in the case of EUROSTARS. Read more hereAuthor : EUREKA