Very well received EU-U.S. Innovation Conference, 14-15 January 2015, Brussels, Belgium
On January 14th-15th, 2015, the BILAT USA 2.0 project welcomed EU and U.S. policymakers and stakeholders to Brussels to the EU-U.S. Innovation Conference, organised by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency, FFG.
At the EU-U.S. Innovation Conference on How to integrate the innovation dimension in the EU-U.S. S&T Agreement, about thirty experts from the U.S. and from Europe have been discussing in six panels and roundtables efficient possibilities on how to proceed together in a future innovation direction under the EU-U.S. Science and Technology Agreement (STA), discussing the innovation dimension and learning from best practice examples on innovation cooperation, including academia-academia collaboration and academia-industry partnerships.
Robert Burmanjer, Head of Unit North America, Latin America and Caribbean at DG Research and Innovation, opened the conference together with Jennifer Haskell, Director of the Office of Science and Technology Cooperation at the U.S. Department of State, highlighting the top priority relationship in terms of Science and Technology within the four flagship topics, marine and arctic sciences, health, energy and transport. Jennifer Haskell outlined that the EU-U.S. research collaboration is the most robust relationship in the world, built on trust and having an optimum environment.
Despite the different cultures and differences in policy making approaches on both sides of the Atlantic, U.S. as well as European experts and policymakers agreed that the conference as such was already a best practice example and that, among others,
- Constant transatlantic policy dialogue is needed and science diplomacy is important
- Co-funding schemes should be exploited and joint program agreements would be an innovative approach
- Open access and exchange of documents and information between European universities shall be enhanced as well as constant information sharing and awareness building across the Atlantic should be fostered
- Research infrastructures should be shared and jointly used
- IPR issues shall be involved in an early cooperation stage and shall not be seen as obstacle
- There is a need for training of faculties and researchers to get entrepreneurial
One of the learnings from the conference was that European innovation actors could learn from their U.S. counterparts to take more risks and have more confidence in learning to manage risks than trying to avoid them. U.S. innovation actors on the other side should be more willing and open to experiment to collaborate with European counterparts.
The outcome of the conference was on the one hand for European policy makers to bundle efforts and boost efficiency when speaking with one voice in international STI cooperation and on the other hand for U.S. and EU policy makers to join forces in addressing innovation aspects based on the STA in order to jointly meet global challenges.
Elli B. Tzatzanis-Stepanovic
FFG - Austrian Research Promotion Agency
All presentations and key note speeches can be found and downloaded below!