Opening Session – Smart policies for innovation and open innovation

Göran Marklund, Deputy Director General of VINNOVA and Chair of the Opening Session, offers his remarks on innovation policies as an ending of the first session. He wants the audience to take with them the importance of putting support of innovation at the heart of policy making, a point which is often overlooked.

He also urges the listeners to specify the sometimes vague nature of innovation policies by answering why, what and how. His impression of the current development is positive, but the full potential power has yet to be released – needs have to be turned into value. Experimentation is a key strategy, involving opening up boundaries to enable learning and testing different ways of handling talent as a source for innovation.

The session ended with a discussion originating from a question by Sébastien Héon, Director of Political Affairs at Cassidian:

Why have there been no commercial innovation successes like facebook or Google in Europe?

The question was answered by Bror Salmelin, who traced the issue to the European innovation focus on industry products, rather than consumer products. And incorporating this commercial user focus is one of the key challenges facing innovation policies of the future.