VARIO hosts the annual Autumn meeting of Science and Innovation Councils in Europe

VARIO hosts the annual Autumn meeting of Science and Innovation Councils in Europe

On 12 and 13 December, VARIO hosted the annual meeting of science and innovation advisory councils in Europe. Each year the chairmen and secretaries of these councils meet to discuss common issues and exchange good practices. This year, the topic of the meeting was 'mission oriented innovation policy'.

The participating advisory councils came from Norway, Finland, Denmark, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Estonia and the Brussels-Capital Region.

Thursday evening the group visited imec and the cleanroom. On Friday, Prof. Koenraad Debackere, KU Leuven, opened with a fascinating keynote 'Innovation policies at crossroads: science, innovation and markets revisited' in which mission-oriented innovation policy was highlighted from multiple angles. In a second keynote, Dr. Klaas Groen, head of the knowledge and innovation department at Rijkswaterstaat in the Netherlands, addressed the practice in the Netherlands with 'Innovative solutions for complex spatial assignments: a practical implementation of mission-oriented innovation policy'.

The keynote speeches were followed by a tour de table in which the various advisory boards explained how they view a 'mission oriented innovation policy'. Of the European countries present, only the Netherlands has already a mission-oriented innovation policy, based on the top sector policy, in place. Germany is also setting up its latest edition of its High-Tech Strategy more in line with missions. In the other countries there is interest and actions are being taken to draw the card of mission-oriented innovation policy in the (near) future. In Flanders, the first steps have already been taken; the policy paper Economy, Science Policy and Innovation by Flemish Minister Crevits indicates that 'the quadruple helix cooperation model between citizens, government, knowledge institutions and companies will be used to shape mission-driven innovation policy as well as economic policy'.