Europe’s competitiveness: learnings from the healthcare sector

Next event In person & livestreamed

Sustainable Livelihoods
09-11 cover picture


Focusing on innovation would substantially benefit the European economy, including its consumers, workers and industries. Two decades ago, Europe was at the forefront of technological and scientific innovation. Today, however, it finds itself in a new competitiveness crisis, with a slower pace and less productivity than its global peers.

The environment for innovation is where we can find one of the root causes of this crisis. In his recent report, Enrico Letta highlights how innovation should become the fifth freedom of this single market, allowing knowledge diffusion to benefit the European Union from an economic, social and cultural point of view. Letta stressed how much there is to gain by fostering its implementation in the healthcare sector.

The healthcare sector in Europe has faced unprecedented challenges since the COVID-19 pandemic. On a global level, Europe has now been surpassed by China as one of the leading hubs for innovation and is well below the level of the United States. Indeed, the US spends $25bn more than Europe on research and development of new medicines. Clinical trial activity for advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) is twice as high in the US and almost three times as high in China than in Europe.

An effective innovation environment in Europe will play an essential role in European competitiveness. The former Italian Prime Minister and President of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi recently highlighted that European firms spend only half of what US firms spend on research and innovation, which creates an annual investment gap of €270bn.

To close this gap, the European Union will need to craft a comprehensive industrial strategy that targets increased productivity and preserves the competitiveness of critical European industries. Europe can become a global leader in life sciences by consolidating decision-making, investing in science and crafting coherent policies that stay true to the core objectives of the Union and its citizens.

This event will be in-person and livestreamed. You will be able to follow the livestream on this webpage. We also encourage you to interact and ask your questions through the Slido online platform.

This event takes place in Brussels and is also available to a wider audience via livestream. Follow us on TwitterLinkedIn or Instagram.

Our events include photos, audio and video recording that we might use for promotional purposes. By registering, you give your permission to use your image. Should you have any questions, please contact us.

PHOTO CREDIT: Shutterstock / Ravil Sayfullin



Registration and sandwich lunch
Europe’s competitiveness: learnings from the healthcare sector
Expand Europe’s competitiveness: learnings from the healthcare sector

Questions to be addressed in the debate include:

  • What are the pathways to foster research and innovation in Europe to close the gap with other areas of the world?
  • How will a Europe-wide industrial strategy favour the healthcare industry?
  • What are the benefits of research and innovation on patients and their capacity to access treatments?
End of event


Monica Shaw
Monica Shaw

Senior-Vice President, Head of European Markets at Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS)

Show more information on Monica Shaw

In her role of Senior Vice-President, Head of European Markets, Monica Shaw leads BMS’s business across Europe, with a portfolio of innovative medicines spanning oncology, hematology, cardiovascular, immunology, cell therapy and neurology. Shaw joined BMS from Oncopeptides, a global biotechnology company, where she served as Chief Executive Officer. She has held several international leadership positions at Leo Pharma, GSK/ViiV Healthcare, Merck Serono and Novartis, with experience across immunology, dermatology, oncology, virology, neurology and rare diseases. Previously, Shaw also worked as a doctor at the UK’s National Health Service.



view all
view all
view all

the debate on

Track title


Stop playback
Video title


Africa initiative logo