16 November 2012

EYIF Innovation Roundtable at the European Parliament

In the context of the Global Entrepreneurship Week, the European Young Innovators Forum(EYIF) convened at the European Parliament its first Innovation Roundtable on the topic of “Enabling Innovation Ecosystems in Europe”. The roundtable was hosted by Members of the European Parliament Maria da Graça CARVALHO (Portugal) and Pablo Zalba BIDEGAIN (Spain), the Innovation Roundtable also featured Jan MUEHLFEIT (Chairman Europe, Microsoft Corporation) and Matthias UMMENHOFER (Head of Venture Capital, European Investment Fund), representing the business and financial communities of Europe. All four panelists are members of the EYIF Advisory Board.

More than 120 Young Innovators, entrepreneurs and NGO representatives gathered at this roundtable which had a twofold objective. On the one hand, to identify the key success factors for creating more and better innovation ecosystems in Europe. On the other, to engage in a real exchange of views between the leaders on the panel and young innovators. Engaged in a dynamic discussion amongst participants, the main conclusions of the event were: need for a deep reshape of our education systems, more entrepreneurial and businessfriendly policies, creation of a real European Digital Single Market, better focus of financing, give more importance to the new collaborative culture as a way to strengthen innovation outcomes in Europe.

The event was chaired by Kumardev CHATTERJEE, founder and President of EYIF, EYIF Founder and President, closed the Roundtable by presenting an overview of the European Young Innovators Forum’s road map for 2013 and its concrete solutions to boost youth innovation in Europe. “EYIF’s vision is that as young innovators we need to take more risks. But also as society, institutions, government, business, we need to support and reward risk taking.” He went on to state , “Just increasing funding using current mechanisms will not create the comprehensive solutions necessary to improve Europe’s Innovation emergency. Any solution framework needs to boost the ability of bottom-up networks and communities to enable, motivate and sustain innovation ecosystems, facilitate the creation of hubs, incubation spaces and digital innovation platforms and most importantly, achieve a direct, sustained and coordinated European response supported through pan- European Innovation awareness raising and mobility programmes.