More than 900 participants from 33 countries met up in Stockholm during the EUREKA Innovation Week 2016 hosted by the Swedish EUREKA Chairmanship and the EUREKA Secretariat. The aim of the conference was to give participants the opportunity to meet, share ideas and discuss smart cities, and to showcase the opportunities that EUREKA offers for international collaboration and innovation.
“The response and number of participants at this event have far exceeded our expectations. Many countries have sent large delegations, and the EUREKA associated countries added a global perspective. It is clear to me that we as Europeans can provide many solutions to the global challenges we face, but we have to bring our ideas together first – this is where EUREKA can help,” says Oscar Stenström, State Secretary to the Minster for Innovation and Enterprise.
During the Eureka Innovation Week close to 900 business-to-business meetings were held. It was the largest matchmaking event Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) has ever held in Sweden.
“We are very excited about this as EUREKA is all about finding new partners for transnational R&D collaboration. This turnout shows that the framework provided by EUREKA is still valid even after 30 years,” says Per Tervahauta, Chairman of the EUREKA network during the Swedish Chairmanship.
During the event the EUREKA Innovation Award prize ceremony was held to highlight the top performing Eureka projects that finished in 2015. The projects were chosen for their outstanding results in international cooperation, technological innovation, economic success and societal/environmental benefits. A winning project was selected in each of three categories:
Competitiveness: Celtic-Plus HFCC/G-fast – Turning copper into gold Added value: ITEA DIAMONDS – Boosting software security for a connected world Innovators of tomorrow: Eurostars Opto-Brain – Preventing brain damage with innovative sensors
In addition to this, an extra pitch prize was awarded to ITEA DIAMONDS.
The participants also had the chance to visit 60 exhibitors of innovative projects – among them Team Sweden – and to make study visits, for example to Ericsson Studios, Stockholm Royal Seaport and Grow Smarter.
Sweden’s responsibility as Chair includes representing the network externally, leading work in EUREKA’s various groups and monitoring activities at EUREKA’s Secretariat. Sweden took over the Chairmanship on 1 July 2015 and will pass it on to Spain on 30 June 2016.
Sweden has identified three main priorities for its Chairmanship.
Priority 1: Towards a lean and efficient governance model. The goal is to achieve a more appropriate organisational structure that promotes greater efficiency and transparency.
Priority 2: Creating a toolbox for Smart Globalisation. The goal is to deliver a general methodology and toolbox for the implementation of a new tool and to carry out pilot calls.
Priority 3: Further establish EUREKA in European Innovation Policy. The goal is to establish EUREKA as an important stakeholder in European Innovation Policy and contribute to the implementation of the European Research and Innovation Area.
The starting point for these priorities is the EUREKA 2020 Strategic Roadmap the network adopted during Norway’s Chairmanship in 2014. The Strategic Roadmap explains the goals of the network and which action points are needed to achieve these goals.
The Chairmanship is held jointly by the Swedish Government Offices and the Swedish Agency for Innovation Systems (VINNOVA).