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IP/01/610

Brussels, 26 April 2001

EU businesses are rising to the challenges of innovation - but there is more to do

The European Commission has published a report entitled "Building an Innovative Economy in Europe". This report highlights how EU enterprises are managing the dynamics of innovation, and reviews a number of trends in European innovation policy, and their impact on business competitiveness and growth. To survive and thrive in the knowledge-driven economy and to cope with the fast-changing realities of globalisation and international competition, European Union enterprises must not only be open to innovation, but also make the most of it. No company can afford to stand still: innovation is key to success in the marketplace. "First movers" lead the pack in the take-up of new ideas, new production processes, new products, new tools, new management styles and working methods. EU businesses are doing well, but they can do better. European firms show consistent performance in innovation, but to match their competitors in the e-economy they have to make an extra effort.

Each year, the European Commission launches a number of studies in the field of innovation, to shed light on specific aspects of interest to policy-makers. The 2001 report "Building an Innovative Economy in Europe", summarises the findings of 12 of these studies, the first in a series of Innovation Policy Studies. The studies seek first and foremost to provide a robust basis for the formulation, monitoring and analysis of innovation policy. They aim to maintain and continuously improve the Commission's analytical framework in the field of innovation.

With this series, the Commission contributes to the debate on innovation. Its aim is not only to support the ability of regional, national and EU-level policy makers to develop Europe's innovation capacity, but also to promote innovation in society as a whole. It hopes to enrich and stimulate a mature debate on the EU's innovative performance, and promote further exchange of knowledge and opinions on priority innovation policy issues having a bearing on enterprises. The report on these studies is published by the Official Publications Office of the European Community and on the Commission website: http://www.cordis.lu/innovation-smes/src/studies.htm.

The report "Building an Innovative Economy in Europe" can be requested from innovation@ec.europa.eu. Readers should note neither this publication nor the 12 reports on which it is based necessarily reflect the official position of the Commission, but first and foremost express the opinions of those who carried out the studies.


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