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GE barometer registers strong support for European innovation

Innovation is seen as critical for European economic recovery by Brussels policymakers and lobbyists, according to the second General Electric EU innovation barometer.

The survey covered 260 Brussels-based “influencers on innovation”. It found that 93 per cent of respondents favour innovation as a good way to create jobs in Europe, up from 86 per cent in the 2010 barometer. A total of 92 per cent believe it is important for the EU to provide additional funding for research and innovation.

Respondents perceived Germany, Sweden, and Finland to be the most successful European countries at supporting innovation, with their policies setting an example for the rest of Europe. However, more than half of the respondents (56 per cent) expect that the economic crisis will mean that innovation gets less government support.

Irish member of the European Parliament Sean Kelly defended innovation spending as he presented the findings this week at a European Parliament event. He said: “As the institutions debate the next multi-annual budget I would encourage them to protect the €80 billion earmarked for research and innovation under the Horizon 2020 programme”.

The barometer is based on the results of the survey, which was conducted in late 2011, along with interviews and a review of media coverage and reports on innovation in the EU. The independent consultancy Strategy One carried out the study.