16 January 2011 · Source: EUREKA News · Download PDF

A fulfilling and successful year

The last few months at the EUREKA Secretariat have been intense, by anyone’s standards. From everything that is happening under the auspices of our current Israeli Chairmanship to our participation in the many excellent events of the Belgian EU Presidency; we should not, of course, forget our role in the management of the EUREKA Programmes, which go from strength to strength.
 
But we are not alone in our high productivity. Our Clusters — strategic initiatives — have been meeting together and with us, to further develop strong joint relationships and strategies; EUREKA has also been present at the annual conferences of EURIPIDES, ITEA 2 and CATRENE, where results of the groundbreaking research undertaken by their partners were showcased. It’s easy — with so much talk of the importance of SMEs to the European economy — to overlook the continuing achievements of our Clusters. They remain the big success of EUREKA and the ERA and are now looking to us for stronger support in terms of synchronisation and communication.
 
The big news from the EU in October was undoubtedly the Innovation Union Flagship, which is surely the most important initiative launched by this current Commission. It is an ambitious and far-reaching proposal that recognises that innovation isn’t just about R&D, funding and patents, but is also about competitiveness, time to market; about collaboration and simplification.
 
November saw the publication of the interim evaluation of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). We are pleased that the report contains specific reference to us, anticipating that Eurostars will have ‘substantial impact’ and acknowledging that ‘outsourcing … to an existing and already well-functioning body [EUREKA] is a better solution than creating new financing instruments.’ This is further endorsement that the joint programming format we are using within Eurostars is working well.
 
Reports, presentations and proposals are important in their recognition of the challenges that face today’s Europe. However, putting this realisation into practice and turning it into concrete results will be the ultimate measure of our success.I wish you all a fulfilling and successful 2011.

 Luuk Borg