With 2,000 businesses from more than 60 countries and 1,600 pre-arranged face-to-face meetings, the 2019 EUREKA Global Summit was a global hit.
Hosted by Innovate UK and with the partnership of EEN, the event in Manchester - which formed part of the UK’s chairmanship of EUREKA, the world’s biggest platform for international co-operation in R&D and innovation support - provided three days of networking and learning opportunities for more than 2,000 businesses from more than 60 countries. A publicly-funded intergovernmental network, EUREKA is the world’s largest network for international co-operation in R&D and innovation and is present in more than 40 countries.
At an event of such scale, there was a huge demand for matchmaking. Running in parallel to other sessions, almost 1,600 face-to-face 20-minute meetings were pre-arranged and facilitated by EEN. And the participation at the matchmaking sessions was truly global, including strong representation from South Korea, Turkey, Spain, Sweden, France, Germany and Austria among others.
This year’s Global Innovation Summit was themed around the four grand challenges of the UK’s Industrial Strategy - artificial intelligence (AI) and data; ageing society; clean growth; and the future of mobility. Delegates heard from an array of politicians, innovation policy makers, investors, entrepreneurs and corporate leaders. Science Minister Chris Skidmore unveiled the new International Research and Innovation Strategy, which underlines the UK’s commitment to worldwide science collaboration and investment. (Here is the full text of his speech). There were presentations and discussions on topics ranging from scaling up, driving innovation through diversity, and collaborating internationally.
Since 1985, EUREKA has supported over 6,800 trans-national R&D and innovation projects, providing the catalyst, finance and support for innovative companies, institutes and universities to expand their activities internationally. Through participating in EUREKA projects, 69 per cent of businesses have entered new markets and 68 per cent have improved their market shares.
A programme such as EUREKA Eurostars is open to SMEs who want to take part in collaborative research to develop new products, processes or services. It helps by grant funding international business collaboration projects in research and innovation. There are two calls for proposals every year until 2020. Companies can apply with two or more participants from two or more Eurostars countries - and only SMEs can lead a project.
With such a range and breadth of international interest in UK innovation being expressed at the Global Innovation Summit, the potential for small, innovative firms to explore and develop new collaborative projects is growing. To find out more about the support available from EUREKA including Eurostars, Clusters, Globalstar and Network projects, contact your local EEN adviser.