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Investing in innovation

Innovation, the process whereby new ideas are generated and turned into economic value, is a crucial requirement for economic growth in the long term and for job creation in Europe. What Europe needs is an open marketplace of ideas and the framework conditions which enable enterprises to look in all directions to develop solutions to emerging challenges. With a view to economic prosperity member states must actively support growth-enhancing policies, notably in research and innovation.

To shape a more positive and progressive innovation policy, the European business community believes that the EU institutions now need to incorporate an 'innovation principle' as an integral component of the policy-making process.

Embracing the Innovation Principle will help to achieve the objective of protecting Europe’s ability to innovate and to stimulate investment, jobs and growth, for the benefit of society, by ensuring that “whenever EU institutions consider policy or regulatory proposals, impact on innovation should be fully assessed and addressed”.

In this sense, BusinessEurope organises different various events and advocates for means to implement the Innovation Principle.

Impact of EU regulation on innovation
While well-drafted legislation can stimulate innovation, poorly designed legislation can stifle it. BusinessEurope, the European Round Table of Industrialists and the European Risk Forum published a collection of industry cases, from a wide range of sectors, where regulation impacts on innovation. The document aims to draws attention to the need for a more innovation-friendly regulatory environment and to promote an informed dialogue between policymakers, industry and other stakeholders. The document is available here.

Policies based on sound scientific evidence
One of the key roles of the European Union is to guarantee a sound and reliable regulatory environment, which implies a more important role for scientific and technological evidence in the policy-making process, as well as strong consideration of the impact on innovation. Innovative companies need an environment that is conducive to innovation and this can only be achieved through evidence and decision-making based on scientific evidence. This requires more transparency as well as a role for education systems and better science communication.

General use of scientific evidence also plays an essential role in stimulating confidence to invest in innovation. In order to justify investing substantial sums of money in technological innovation, investors need to believe that it will be possible to demonstrate sufficient safety to justify approval for market access. This type of credible and relevant scientific evidence provides an objective basis for both policy-makers and investors to decide whether or not to invest in new technologies. Governance procedures are therefore required to ensure that scientific evidence is generated and used as a reliable basis for policy-making across the EU institutions.

Last updated: 19 June 2018