The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Batt O’Keeffe TD, has welcomed the formal adoption of the Europe 2020 strategy for innovation by the European Council last week.
Speaking at a seminar, ‘Delivering Innovation: EUROPE 2020 Strategy’ at the European Commission Representation Office, Dublin, O’Keeffe said the adoption of the new strategy is a significant contribution towards developing new directions and focus for the European Union.
“The challenges have increased for Europe to drive competitiveness and innovation as robustly as its global competitors. In that regard, Europe 2020 commits to mobilising EU funding and policy instruments in promoting smart, sustainable and inclusive growth so that job creation can be optimised and better labour market and societal outcomes achieved for Europe’s citizens,” said O’Keeffe, pointing out that the objectives of Europe 2020 are broadly consistent with the Government’s national strategy, ‘Building Ireland’s Smart Economy’.
He also welcomed the new targets for investment in research and development outlined in the new strategy.
“Setting ambitious research and development targets in terms of expenditure, such as the EU target of 3pc of GDP, will help us to prioritise and drive our investments in research and development. However, the big challenge, at both European and national level, is to ensure that the money invested in knowledge and research will translate into innovation and ultimately more competitiveness and high-quality jobs.
“We need to pursue an approach where our research investment supports the competitiveness of European industry and where science and innovation is impacting positively on all aspects of our lives,” he continued.
Building the smart economy through innovation
“In building the smart economy and to increase business and societal returns, a comprehensive approach to innovation policy and development must continue. This involves a more open and collaborative approach to innovation through supporting infrastructures for sharing knowledge and research. By applying a broad-based innovation policy across all of our industrial sectors we can spur the growth of markets for innovative products and services.”
By Deirdre Nolan