It has been a long time since there has been a “codification” of the concept of innovation by the European Union. We want to present and comment on this note by the “European Policy Strategy Center” (EPSC), the European Commission’s Think Thank in-house as the first step towards a new direction. What is innovation? What systemic changes does it bring? Where does the real value lie, in the innovation itself or in the path of the innovator?
Sometimes we are used to thinking of innovation as a rigid path, already predefined, with exclusive development methods, always in the context of an incubation process with the almost indispensable presence of research conducted by university-level institutes. The sectors of greatest development are always the new technologies in the IT, medical-scientific, health, and environmental fields, less in the field of social inclusion. No discussion about this model, however, the EPSC expands the concept and breaks certain barriers.
These are the new elements:
Move the focus to the innovator. Everyone can have the opportunity to become innovators, through their skills and creativity.
Innovation evolves in a liquid and flexible dimension, involving all sectors of society not only related to technologies, redefining their models in a creative and “friendly” way
In order to diffuse value, innovation must be able to “contaminate”, through ever new ways of networking, mediation, and insemination: a characteristic underlying the concept of OI (Open Innovation)
The path of innovation is not desirable as a closed, exclusive path, but the road to success lies in the people, in their skills, and in the development of their activity. Moving the focus on the innovator means to support more inclusion, sustainability, productivity, growth, and employment. The real challenge remains the spread of open innovation as a collaborative and shared system.
This note clarifies the issue and provides the elements for a renewed commitment to innovation in the EU.