The Role of the State as Entrepreneur: From facilitator to innovator

The CEPS Task Force on “Unleashing Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Europe: People, Places and Policies” met for the fourth time on December 8th. Academics, practitioners and representatives of EU and national institutions discussed the role of the state and public policies in fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. The event was opened by three keynote speeches by Robert U. Ayres (INSEAD Business School), Jan Fagerberg (TIK, University of Oslo) and Nicholas Ashford (MIT). The speakers agreed on the necessity to rethink innovation policy as a tool to ensure the transition of the EU economy towards a path of social and environmental sustainable development. In this respect, Roberto Battiston (ASI), Robert D. Atkinson (ITIF) and Jan Wessels (IIT Berlin) provided concrete examples of how public agencies and innovation foundations can be key actors to shape innovation policies, finance innovation, support innovative SMEs and bring benefits to the society as a whole. Finally, a roundtable involving stakeholders from business and academia focused on current EU policies for innovation, suggesting the need to simplify the existing system and make it more market-driven. CEPS researchers are now working on the Task Force report that will be presented in spring 2016.