Research and innovation are essential for a successful, modern economy, and they are at the heart of the European Commission's policies to boost jobs, growth and investment. However, while Europe excels in research, we are not good enough at investing in innovation at speed and scale, which is why the EU’s Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, has set the goal of Open Innovation. The basic premise is to open up the innovation process to all active players so that new ideas can circulate more freely and be transformed into products and services that create new markets, fostering a stronger culture of entrepreneurship.
A company that produces radiators that heat homes for free by using spare energy from computer servers is part of a wave of businesses embracing the concept of doing more with less, an idea known as frugal innovation.
Europe needs to demonstrate to many of its companies the benefits of innovation, according to Professor Luke Georghiou, the vice-president for research and innovation at the University of Manchester, UK.
Smartphones are changing the game for entrepreneurs and innovators, cutting out the need for expensive equipment and enabling them to place technologies such as virtual reality how-to manuals and broadband service for aircraft passengers directly into our pockets.
Expensive large-scale trials on no-hoper drugs could become a thing of the past after a European research collaboration worked out how to tell if a medication is likely to cause side effects before they actually appear.
An EU-wide ban on so-called backdoors in software would reduce pressure on companies to allow governments a secret way into a system, as well as strengthen cybersecurity across Europe, according to a digital industry body.
An entrepreneur who helps innovative products get to market by creating collaborations between the arts, sciences, academia and industry, has earned first place in the 2017 EU Prize for Women Innovators.
A growing number of environmentally minded people are putting their money where their mouths are and directly investing in projects such as solar and wind farms, thanks to a rise in community-based financing schemes such as crowdfunding and renewable energy cooperatives.
The European Commission has launched plans for the next research funding programme.