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.
Innovation should be taught as a subject in European schools, according to Tibor Navracsics, the EU’s Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, who says that education can be a defining factor in the life of young scientists.
A miniaturised heart implant is one of the most promising ways in which scientists are hoping to tackle cardiovascular disease, the world’s biggest killer, which claims the lives of almost 2 million people every year in the EU alone.
Police and law enforcement staff are turning to hackathons – collaborative events for developing technology – to come up with new ways of searching for clues within the terabytes of data that many people produce every year.
Using off-the-shelf technology and innovative economics, lightweight helium balloons have started carrying remote-controlled laboratories to the edge of space and back, offering the business case for new types of science missions.
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.
Climate expert says real challenge is safeguarding biological resources.
Floating wind turbines could be a clean energy game changer.
A circular economy needs new business models and reusable products, says Felipe Maya.