Taking stock of the discussion so far (Group 8)
After three weeks of intense discussion, it’s due time to take stock and put some order in the discussion.
First we have been impressed by the degree of participation on the topic of innovation and entrepreneurship: 51 members who have generated 11 discussions and 44 comments. So far, the 5 participants with most "interesting" votes are Axel Schultze, Thierry Nabeth, Nico Perez, Antonio Davila and Gianluigi Cuccureddu.
On the topic of entrepreneurship, we started off by discussing how to raise money for startups. Different examples of crowdsourcing funding came up (e.g Goteo) and it soon evolve into the idea of launching a EU startup partnership, like Startup America in US, to support web entrepreneurs in Europe. But what services should be provided? According to entrepreneurs and other members, they should include organizing events, creating how-to guides, support the networking of existing accelerators and services . We keep discussing how could such a partnership be run and by whom. Other examples have been shared (example Israel program), however it is still not clear the role that public bodies (or EC) should play in such programs. Therefore, the open question is: what is the role of the EU in supporting web entrepreneurs? Should mentoring be the key focus? And don’t forget: we also we have intense discussion and collaboration on the OpenIdeo platform: 924 people are co-creating the EU web strategy.
In parallel, a lively discussion on innovation funding and Horizon 2020 is going on. The key question, which launched all the discussion, is how could EU research and innovation funds engage the most innovative EU actors. The perception is still that it’s too bureaucratic, time consuming and geared towards technical or academic research rather than consumer or commercial web startups. As some of you outlined, in a European R&D framework, the aim of the research performed has to be crystal clear; either it is long-term basic research or it is industrially-driven applied R&D. Academia has a leading role in the first, and industry in the latter. The open discussion is now structured on commenting a position paper by two Young Advisers to commissioner Kroes about the future of EU innovation policy. Most hostly debated issues revolve around the possibility to introduce more flexible funding mechanisms, the capacity through attract the “right” people, the need for coherence between basic and applied research.
The most recent discussion was about the role of clusters in innovation and how could the EU support them. Typically those clusters are local, so what is the role of the EU? Should hundreds of clusters be supported, or should investment be focused on selected areas of excellence across country?
Beside the discussion, we also are collecting actions and commitments from stakeholders: we’re co-creating the Digital Innovation Charter, where stakeholders involved in existing EU-funded platforms can showcase their concrete commitments for EU innovation. So far, most of the engagement focuses on what should invest industrial stakeholders engaged in partnerships with EU and how to exploit research results in Europe. We look forward to seeing what YOU do for innovation in Europe.
So far for the activity on the platform. But remember you don’t need to discuss on the platform only: buy using the tag "da12innov", we are able to capture the discussions in wordpress, youtube, slideshare and more; all this is shown in the “tagosphere” section. In Twitter, the #da12innov hashtag shows 146 tweets by 80 participants. And we’re also monitoring the discussion on other social networks: for instance in the Linkedin Horizon 2020 forum, where the debate on how to support innovation and boost research exploitation is still on; or EU entrepreneurs at Sillicon Valley also where the issue on raising money and capital is key and which platforms or tools can be used to do so.