The EU's innovation and competitiveness drive: From labs to markets

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The EU's innovation and competitiveness drive: From labs to markets


The EU is under huge expectations to remain competitive on innovation. Is Horizon 2020, and the €80 billion that has been poured into the initiative, enough to put Europe ahead on R&D? Speaking before an audience of Friends of Europe members, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas said that Europe is fragmented, left disadvantaged at a time when the speed and scale of innovation are critical.
Moedas said that Europe’s difficulty is having to work with 28 different labour laws, judicial systems and product markets.

The right framework conditions for each member state must be implemented if the best is to be made of investments, and will be the Commissioner’s first priority together with the lowering of barriers ranging from inadequate financing to data protection and privacy rules

Innovation is the way to create growth without sacrificing wages or jobs, so the EU will be investing greatly in innovation and encouraging closer co-operation with the private sector. ‘Europeans can be risk takers’, and the EU will also work to support the better understanding of risk management, new sources of energy and crucially to encourage innovative minds to advance failure into success stories, for ‘innovation has risks, and sometimes fails, but innovation is the solution’.

This debate is part of Friends of Europe’s “Conversation with” series in which we offer our members the chance to engage with the new EU commissioners and other top leaders.



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Conversation with EU Commissioner Carlos Moedas
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Carlos Moedas has been entrusted by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker with the mission of making sure that research contributes as much as possible to the EU’s growth, jobs and innovation. A civil engineer by training, Moedas held a number of political positions in Portugal before his appointment to the European Commission in 2014. These include Secretary of State to the Prime Minister, where he was in charge of helping Portugal exit from its bailout programme. He previously had an international career in investment banking and received his MBA from Harvard Business School in 2000.

Moderated by

Tamsin Rose

Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe



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Tamsin Rose

Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe

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Tamsin Rose is Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe. Having studied international relations, she has 25 years of experience working across the European continent from Ireland to Mongolia. A natural communicator, Tamsin has been a radio reporter, worked on press for the EU Delegation in Moscow and is currently a member of the external speaker team for the European Commission Directorate General for Communication, describing how the EU works and key policies to visitor groups from around the world. Since 2002 she has specialised in public health and public participation issues, serving as Secretary General of the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), and providing strategic advice for health groups on how to engage successfully with the EU.


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