The term “European Paradox” was firstly used by the European Commission to define the European phenomenon of having good higher education systems, good research infrastructure and results but failing to translate this into marketable innovations. Going further, Innomine created the term “Extended European Paradox”. This means that while out of the top 20 R&D spender companies 30 % are of European origin, out of the top 10 most innovative companies there aren’t any European. Transforming European economies’ success in basic research activities into commercial success seems to be really difficult.
Firstly, Europe has been unable to take full advantage of recent technological revolutions, particularly in ICT, which results a much lower productivity than the US. According to IDC, less than 2% of European SMEs take full advantage of digital technologies.
Secondly, innovation and its spread have to face strong barriers, especially in the public sector which represents almost 40% of the EU’s GDP. Moreover, an innovation-friendly business environment is still missing in Europe, that is, newcomers have fewer possibilities against firms who are already on the market for many years.
Thirdly, there is too much fragmentation, duplication on efforts and overlap between EU and national-regional research and innovation programmes.
How to convert research into commercial success?
To improve the situation and to make Europe an attractive R&D&I investment location for businesses, there are now more and more EU (e.g. Horizon2020) and other initiatives (e.g. Neumann Society) which can help solving the problem of the European Paradox, as well as some other actors in the economy like Innomine. In Europe, funds amounting to € 350 billion are available to support structural reforms, social development and cohesion of the European Union member states, so the good news is that there is funding for innovation in Europe!
However, even if several concepts have been developed and several initiatives have been implemented to cure this problem, European companies can still not make to the top 10 worldwide. Innomine’s objective is to change this and to improve how European public and private funds are used to generate innovation.
In this sense, Innomine is going to help European companies increase their efficiency in terms of the output of their R&D&I activities by fostering the creation of innovation ecosystems. In the long-term, a good use of their R&D&I spending activities will encourage the most innovative ideas and approaches, answering to the problem of “Extended European Paradox”.