Eureka Stakeholder Conference
Creating ecosystems for innovation
On 5 September the Dutch Eureka Chairmanship team organised the Eureka Stakeholder Conference in the beautiful DeLamar theatre in Amsterdam. During this event, the Eureka Community had the opportunity to make its voice heard on how to organise Eureka innovation instruments in the future.
An impressive laser show immediately caught the attention of the audience that was then treated to a notable set of keynote speakers in turn.
Mona Keijzer, Dutch State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, highlighted the outcomes of ITEA project SoRTS as a great example of what can be achieved within the Eureka Programme. She also underlined Eureka’s ambition to be able to develop activities to deal swiftly and flexibly with new technological challenges.
The dedicated (and catchy) Ales Cantarutti, State Secretary for Economic Development and Technology of Slovenia, noted that in the rapid transformation of our economy “new technologies bring new solutions, as well as new responsibilities. The right skills and knowledge are sought internationally and partners with the right expertise are sought worldwide.” Dutch Prince Constantijn van Oranje, Special Envoy of StartupDelta, future TechLeap.NL, followed with his remark that “technology and the ability to apply and scale it has become a global strategic play in which Europe needs to be much more assertive in defining and defending its own interests, as well as building its capabilities and assets.” He also clearly expressed his advice to simplify things for the clients, which might be different from simplication for governments. Next, the audience was informed about the Eureka Clusters and the Eurostars programme in two parallel sessions.
After a break, again two parallel sessions took place in which the audience was able to exchange feedback and opinions on related topics using the highly interactive Mentimeter tool. One session focused on the recommendations for the new Eurostars programme, while the other session gathered input for the restructuring of the Eureka Clusters. The following main recommendations were then presented in the closing wrap-up session:
- SMEs should remain in the lead of Eurostars projects
- Eurostars should also facilitate the support to SMEs to take the next steps to the market, including through coaching and mentoring, the link with large companies and funding for commercialisation
- Technology innovation is outpacing the decision timelines
- Clusters need to become highly visible
- The Eureka programme should make room for flexible, bottom-up, multi-technology, InterCluster or outside-Cluster, industry-driven projects
The feedback gathered during the conference will be presented to Eureka policy makers. The results will be used to create a powerful set of innovation tools that will contribute to the creation of innovative ecosystems for the future.
At the end of the event there was room for matchmaking with innovative SMEs and industry representatives from Europe and beyond. ITEA was present with an InterCluster booth to inform attendees about the opportunities for R&D&I within the domain of Software Innovation.
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