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“Europeans still largely love the new, but want to feel involved in the road to innovation, and to understand the benefits to their own locality and family.” Sentiments such as this mark out a new innovation policy document as a cut above the usual blandishments produced to influence policy in Brussels.

The findings of the European Commission senior innovation adviser’s review (see related article) present a strong and coherent argument that EU innovation policy needs to change. Robert Madelin, a former senior Commission official, spent the last year preparing it at the European Political Strategy Centre, a think tank established to advise Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker. The report outlined a range of interesting ideas about social inclusion, the role of universities and the modernisation of governance, among other things.

Unfortunately, there are reasons to doubt that anyone in Brussels will take up the lead offered by the report to drive forward the broader innovation policy that it recommends. Juncker appears to be in trouble at the moment, with negative stories circulating about his performance, and unfavourable noises emanating from Berlin about his prospects of remaining in office.

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