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Can Europe Innovate Out of a Crisis?

by Kristin Moyer  |  December 13, 2011  |  1 Comment

Contributed by David Furlonger

Commentators suggest over half of the companies on the 2009 Fortune 500 list began during a recession or bear market. Does this offer hope to a European market saddled with an on-going crisis and likely poor economic growth, if not recession, for several years to come?

The new European Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020  European Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020, which will come into effect from 2014 and will run until 2020 affirms this hope. Indeed, one can also argue that the level of entrepreneurship in many European countries is also quite strong as evidenced by THE GLOBAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND DEVELOPMENT INDEX. However, there is more to these two positive indications than meets the eye.

 First, Horizon 2020 is not a new initiative; an earlier attempt to launch Europe on a path to innovative growth came in 2000 at the Lisbon Summit. In addition, one has to question whether the goals set then have been achieved, or are close to achievement.

The Eu has expanded and the recent euro crisis has highlighted stark divisions of interest and capability between member nations. There remains a large difference in economic and entrepreneurial performance in many countries which is manifest in both scientific and technological development.

 Second, innovation and entrepreneurial activity requires sustainable funding and individual creativity. However, in: Is the Economic Crisis Impairing Convergence in Innovation Performance across Europe? , data suggests the level of investment in innovation during 2006-2009 has fallen substantially.

 What does this mean for our clients?

  • Centralized political structure doesn’t necessarily translate into individual invention, creativity and growth oriented development, that is sustainable and drives meaningful change – witness the different approach taken in Silicon Valley regardless of Federal US economic policy 
  • Companies seeking innovation should not wait for government bureaucracy to deliver performance
  • Even if new investment may be hard to come by and discretionary spend is cut back, CIOs should still take an inventory of their initiatives and seek to reallocate money from poorly performing ones to alternates that have proven success records. Ie seek to scale innovation success

Remember to read our latest research:CIOs Should Address the Impacts of the Euro Crisis on Their Enterprises Now, as well as attend the January 19th webinar on this topic: Euro Crisis Webinar and contribute to our survey:Euro Crisis Survey.

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Kristin R. Moyer
Research Vice President
14 years at Gartner
more than 20 years IT industry

Kristin Moyer is a Research Vice President in Industry Advisory Services/Banking and Investment Services. She has more than 20 years of experience across the global high-technology industry in a variety of roles. Ms. Moyer's research coverage includes… Read Full Bio

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