Towards European industrial innovation: who should lead the way?

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Digital & Data Governance
Towards European Industrial Innovation Who Should Lead The Way


Heads of state recently reiterated the importance of sustaining effort in refocusing and reinvigorating the European Union’s industrial policy in order to better contend with international stakeholders. In its conclusion from the 21-22 March Summit, the Council called on the European Commission to draft strategies to strengthen and deepen the single market, industrial policy and digital policy.

In light of this, Friends of Europe is offering its members a series of exclusive, off the record, roundtable debates with key policymakers, hence providing an opportunity to directly share their insights and expertise. The product of these roundtable exchanges will be a series of recommendations which will be shared with the new EU mandate in the aim to better shape the EU’s future industrial strategy in accordance with the needs of the different stakeholders.

Our ‘What the Chiefs Say’ discussions are an opportunity to engage in an exclusive, closed door discussion with a selected group of senior representatives from industry, civil society and diplomacy. These 60-minute discussions include a one-on-one exchange with the moderator, followed by an off-the-record question and answer session with our members.




Registration of participants and welcome coffee
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In the proposed post-2020 Multi-Financial Framework (MFF), the European Commission has set out an ambitious €100 billion research and innovation programme that will succeed Horizon 2020. In addition, the EU is set to reinforce its European Innovation Council to further boost investment and risk-taking in R&D. According to EU officials, such measures hold the potential to considerably drive economic and technological development in the European Union, shaping the future for a strong, sustainable and competitive European economy.

With R&D playing an increasing role in the EU’s industrial policy, questions are being raised as to the effectiveness of this considerable spending. Industry leaders have pointed out that public sector capital should be used as a tool to drive private investment. Currently, multinational companies account for more R&D spending around the world than governments, and the private sector is best placed to boost innovation in key specific areas. In light of this, industry experts have underlined the need to include them on a more continual basis in discussions with policymakers.

  • Are the investment opportunities sufficiently distributed throughout member states, as well as across sectors?
  • How can EU research and innovation policies help combine the idea of a sustainable yet industrial Europe, while drawing investment away from less legislation-heavy territories?
  • How could innovation policies be better streamlined with regard to other policy areas? Are policies, at present sufficiently, integrated with one another?


Jean-Eric Paquet

European Commission Director General for Research and Innovation


Dharmendra Kanani

Chief Operating Officer and Chief Spokesperson of Friends of Europe

End of debate and Networking cocktail


Jean-Eric Paquet
Jean-Eric Paquet

European Commission Director General for Research and Innovation

Show more information on Jean-Eric Paquet

His experience at Commission includes numerous management and coordination positions on various topics. He was previously appointed Deputy Secretary General of the European Commission responsible for Better Regulation and Policy Coordination. Further notable positions include leading the EU’s relations with Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as well as heading the Trans-European Transport Network policy.


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