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“Removing Obstacles to Innovation: Europe vs. the US”

“Removing Obstacles to Innovation: Europe vs. the US”
High – Level Conference
Co-organised by CEPS and the Center on Capitalism and Society
20-21 November 2014
The next five years are crucial to restore and strengthen Europe’s position on the global innovation map. As noted
by Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, “research, innovation and
science are key cornerstones of future growth”. The US will also face pressing questions in this field in the coming
years, although it has maintained a stronger position. The aim of this conference is to discuss current challenges
to innovation (and entrepreneurship) in the globalisation era, with the aim of drawing lessons from successful
examples and putting forward pragmatic suggestions for policy-makers in the US and EU.
One may approach the topic from various angles:
The decline in entrepreneurship. Can the tide turn? Are legal rules so important in stimulating entrepreneurship,
or is it rather the underlying culture that counts most? This question is relevant for the EU, which is "desperately
seeking entrepreneurship" and almost blindly relying on the concept of "venture capital", as if it were the silver
bullet that would break the EU's stalemate in this field. The discussion could also focus on what the EU can learn
from the US (and vice-versa) on how to stimulate and retain innovation potential.
Entrepreneurship in the age of globalisation. The issue of entrepreneurship becomes even trickier today, with
the creation of indigenous innovation programmes in China and Brazil to develop and retain know-how locally,
and the emergence of new, vibrant clusters such as Bangalore. It could be interesting to explore this additional
aspect: Is indigenous innovation (regardless of who innovates) as important as it was in the past century? And if
so, how to stimulate indigenous innovation in an age of global value chains?
The "changing face" of innovation. Many scholars are still lined to the idea of innovation as an R&D process,
which goes from basic research (universities, tech transfer) to commercialisation. However, the emergence of
various other forms – in particular "social innovation", process innovation in large firms, frugal innovation in India
and many other types – shows that innovation today is a much more complex phenomenon, and therefore difficult
to anticipate/steer. Governments might better confine themselves to a role of facilitators. But can they do that?
Inter-firm cooperation and competition: what does this imply for government innovation policy? In the age of
Internet platforms, 3D printing and digitalisation of many supply chains, is innovation still a single-firm process?
Widely acknowledged concepts such as "open innovation" (Chesbrough) are now evolving into more complex
organisational forms (e.g. distributed co-creation, "co-opetition") in several fields (e.g. pharma), and in most cases
feature collaboration between large companies (which provide the platform) and small companies (which find
solutions and ideas, in the form of applications). What does this mean for innovation policy?
CENTRE FOR EUROPEAN POLICY STUDIES, Place du Congrès 1, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: 32 (0)2 229 39 11 • Fax: 32 (0)2 219 41 51 • • VAT: BE 0424.123.986
“Removing Obstacles to Innovation: Europe vs. the US”
Venue: CEPS, Place du Congrès 1, B-1000 Brussels
Opening dinner, Thursday 20 November
Keynote Speech “The evolving concept of innovation in the age of globalisation”
Edmund Phelps
Conference, Friday 21 November
Introductory remarks: Edmond Alphandéry, CEPS Chairman and Edmund Phelps, Director of the
Center on Capitalism and Society at Columbia University
Session I: Improving the Innovation Process: Europe vs. the US
Chair: Edmund Phelps, Director of the Center on Capitalism and Society, Columbia University
What demand-side and supply-side policies are being introduced by governments on both sides of
the Atlantic to stimulate entrepreneurship and innovation? Are these policies matching the
evolution of innovation, or are they still related to the traditional. R&D-based model of “within
firm” innovation?
Keynote speech: Dominique Foray, Professor, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
Roundtable discussion with:
Amar Bhidé, Professor, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University
Jose Manuel Leceta, Director, European Institute of Innovation & Technology
Stefano Micossi, Director General, Assonime
Gunnar Muent, Director for Innovation and Competitiveness, European Investment Bank
Daniel Raff, Professor, The Wharton School
Maurizio Sobrero, Professor, Università di Bologna and Italian Presidency of the European Union
David Raskino, Director, Strategic Projects & Ventures, Microsoft
Coffee break
Session II: The Key to Success: Sectoral experiences on the innovation process
Chair: Andrea Renda, Senior Research Fellow, CEPS
Experience suggests that no “one-size-fits-all” innovation policy can be designed, as sectors exhibit
important specificities. This session discusses case studies from the worlds of ICT, pharmaceuticals,
CENTRE FOR EUROPEAN POLICY STUDIES, Place du Congrès 1, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: 32 (0)2 229 39 11 • Fax: 32 (0)2 219 41 51 • • VAT: BE 0424.123.986
finance and social innovation, in an attempt to map common features and peculiarities, which
might merit a fine-tuned policy intervention.
Keynote speech: Charles Calomiris, Professor, Columbia Business School
Roundtable discussion with representatives from various sectors:
Eric Bartelsman, Professor, University of Amsterdam
S.W. Kim, President, Corporate Affairs Europe, Samsung
Richard Robb, CEO, Christofferson, Robb & Company (CRC)
Rudolf Strohmeier, Deputy Director-General, DG Research and Innovation, European Commission
Keynote speech on entrepreneurship and innovation
Michael Meissner, Vice-President, Corporate Affairs Europe, Amway
Session III: Enhancing Entrepreneurship to Foster Innovation
Chair: Daniel Gros, CEPS Director
Entrepreneurship is key to innovation, and its lack is also one of the main determinants of the
rather poor performance on innovation observed in the EU and also, according to some authors,
in the US compared to other countries. Is entrepreneurship mostly a cultural issue? What can
governments do to stimulate entrepreneurs? The role of education, access to finance, policies
aimed at reducing risk for start-ups are among the issues discussed in this session.
Keynote speech: Pierre Larouche, Professor, University of Tilburg
Roundtable discussion with:
Raicho Bojilov, Assistant Professor, Ecole Polytechnique, Paris
Joanna Drake, Director SMEs and Entrepreneurship, DG ENTR, European Commission
Lucrezia Reichlin, Professor, London Business School
Andrea Renda, Senior Research Fellow, CEPS
Concluding remarks
CENTRE FOR EUROPEAN POLICY STUDIES, Place du Congrès 1, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: 32 (0)2 229 39 11 • Fax: 32 (0)2 219 41 51 • • VAT: BE 0424.123.986
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