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On 2 October 2012, during the Innovation Summit, Telefónica and the Lisbon Council have announced a three-year collaboration to establish StartUp Europe, a Centre of Excellence to develop and support entrepreneurship and drive job creation in the region.
One of the key levers identified is fast-tracking the creation of 'hubs of innovation' that will encourage entrepreneurial spirit across Europe and help the region regain its leadership in technology and innovation.
This collaboration is creating a multidisciplinary community that will contribute to the levels of professionalism and intellectual rigour required by young European entrepreneurs striving to create new technology ventures, drive forward change and kick-start innovation.
Speakers included Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn; Telefonica CEO Eva Castillo-Sanz; former OECD chief statistician Enrico Giovaninni; Andreas Schleicher, special adviser on education policy to the secretary-general and deputy director for education at the OECD. Michel Praet, member of the cabinet responsible for research and innovation at Herman Van Rompuy’s office.
Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn laid out her vision for how innovation can drive the economic recovery, particularly in high-tech sectors and entrepreneurial ventures and she insisted on the need for stakeholder support to the Innovation component of the EU budget:
“So, we are restructuring the budget […] towards growth and competitiveness policies. […] you might think that everyone would agree with this. But actually I am worried that, in these budget negotiations, which will be very tough, research and innovation may be particularly vulnerable. This is partly because scientists are not a well organised lobby. Research and innovation lack true champions. I would ask you, please, to support us, and to persuade others to do so. We need all the support we can get!”
“We need more medium-sized firms able to occupy top positions in niche markets. And, as the Lisbon Council, together with Telefonica, so rightly point out, we need more young firms with high growth potential.”
Eva Castillo-Sanz gave an exciting presentation, including interesting insights about venture capital.
Enrico Giovannini, president of the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) and former chief economist of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) gave his advice on how to measure and account for innovation and entrepreneurship. He explained also the failure of the OECD and other official data providers to create a good innovation indicator based on macro-economic data. They are now trying to use micro-economic data to build innovative SME profiles, as they consider it to be the best possible indicator of innovation.