Thursday, 6 October 2016

Top Innovators needed to shape European Innovation Council

The European Commission is looking for top innovative people to help shape the new European Innovation Council (EIC). If you think you could help strengthen Europe's capacity to generate and scale up breakthrough innovations then the Commission is inviting you to join a High Level Group (HLG) that will advise on the design of the new EIC.

It is hoped that the High Level Group will start its work by early 2017 with an initial duration of 24 months, which may be renewable. The High Level Group will consist of have up to 12 members who would need to be available to work with the group by the end of 2016.


Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, set out his ambition to create a European Innovation Council in June 2015. Its aim is to boost the impact of EU research and innovation programmes by stimulating innovative start-ups and SMEs with the potential to grow into world-beating businesses.


The EIC will focus on support for innovative firms and entrepreneurs with the potential to scale up rapidly to become the game-changers of the future, helping spur growth and new jobs in Europe.

Commenting on the EIC HLG Commissioner Moedas (above) said: "Europe can do more for innovators, especially those with the ambition and capability to create new markets. EU support for innovation must be open to start ups and innovators with the potential to scale up, and reflect their needs. That is why I am setting up this High Level Group, and invite our leading innovators to put their names forward."

How to apply
The full call for applications for the EIC HLG can be found on the Horizon 2020 Participant Portal and the deadline for applications is 27 October 2016. Applications are invited from individuals acting in a personal capacity, who are already active in different parts of the innovation ecosystem, such as:
  • Entrepreneurs who have started and scaled up innovative enterprises at European/global level 
  • Investor and start-up communities (including banks, Venture Capitalists, Business Angels, crowd funders etc.), and 
  • Those involved in the wider innovation ecosystem (knowledge transfer, business schools, innovation hubs, accelerators, etc.).
The Commission will assess applicants against the following factors and criteria:
  • Their track record in the start-up and/or scale up of innovative firm(s) at EU/international level 
  • Their Commitment and passion for innovation
  • Their contributions to the development of the broader innovation ecosystem at EU/national/regional level 
  • Any recognition by authorities and/or achievements, for example in the form of prizes and awards obtained at national, European or international level 
  • The balance of members within the group in terms of skills, experience, gender, age and geographical origin.
EIC background
The European Commission ran a public call for ideas between 16 February and 29 April 2016 to gather stakeholders' views on disruptive, market-creating innovation, on gaps in the current innovation support landscape and on the potential remit of a European Innovation Council. As the SusChem blog reported Cefic submitted a position paper to this call. A report on the results of the call was published in July 2016.

The HLG will be another step towards the establishment of a European Innovation Council. A number of pilot actions for the EIC could be launched during 2017 under Horizon 2020 with a full-fledged EIC rolled out in the successor ‘FP9’ programme.

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