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Innovation advisor alert to danger of exacerbating traditional divides

Image: Science Foundation Ireland

The chair of the advisory board for the EU’s newest innovation funder has said the bloc will have to work hard to ensure it does not further entrench existing R&D divides.

The European Innovation Council—currently in a pilot phase as part of the EU’s Horizon 2020 R&D programme—is intended to help innovators build on research results by giving them financial support to take business ideas closer to market.

Commission data on the EIC pilot show that the countries underperforming in Horizon 2020 generally are so far also underperforming in the EIC. The top 13 member states by order of EIC participation are all among the EU’s 15 older member states. Hungary, the highest-placed of the newer 13 member states, comes 17th, trailing behind non-EU states Switzerland, Israel and Norway.

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