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Mark Ferguson, chairman of the European Innovation Council advisory board, on the difference between taking risks and being stupid.

The European Innovation Council’s advisory board must steer the funder towards backing ideas that have realistic chances of spawning fast-growing businesses, its chairman Mark Ferguson says. This means making risky investment decisions but avoiding unwise ones.

“A stupid decision is lending money to people with no hope of repaying you,” he says of how the proposed budget of €10 billion for 2021-27 might be spent. “A high-risk decision is backing something that looks really interesting and for which everything is pointing in the right direction, but more work is needed.”

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