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Innovation matters: Debating priorities for a competitive Europe



The conference is an important step in the increasingly difficult debate about the EU’s future budget debate. Pascal Lamy recently released an influential report proposing a doubling of EU research and innovation funding – a potential challenge to other budget lines, such as agriculture and regions. This conference is intended to pick up the debate again at the very start of the Autumn political season in Brussels. It will hear arguments on budget priorities from various quarters, and flesh out some ideas on how the research budget might get spent – and what’s needed to make a true single market in innovation across Europe.


15:00 - How research and innovation can make Europe more competitive

Welcome: Richard L. Hudson, Editor-in-Chief, Science|Business

Q&A with:

  • Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation


15:20 - Setting EU priorities: The old budget assumptions are gone. Farmers, scientists, entrepreneurs, regional development authorities – all is now in play. 

  • Markku Markkula, First Vice-President, European Committee of the Regions
  • Karen Maex, Rector Magnificus, University of Amsterdam
  • Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation
  • Walter Weigel, Vice President, Huawei European Research Institute (ERI)


16:00 - To the moon: The Lamy report urged the EU to inspire us with moon-shot missions. A few concrete proposals from various sectors and dreamers. 

  • Michael Arthur, President & Provost, University College London
  • Lisandro Benedetti-Cecchi, Vice Rector for European and International Research, University of Pisa
  • Karin Dahlman-Wright, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Karolinska Institutet


16:30 -Stepping up: How to build a real innovation marketplace across Europe

If Europe is to succeed, it must build integrated, seamless market for innovation, across the entire continent, in health, energy, transport, IP, finance and more.

Moderator: Maryline Fiaschi, Managing Director, Science|Business

  • Ian Collier, Director of Operations, High Value Manufacturing CATAPULT
  • Andreas Ebert, Regional Technical Officer, Microsoft
  • Eva Grut-Aandahl, Head of EU Government Affairs, Pfizer
  • Luc Soete, Professor and former Rector, University of Maastricht


17:15 -  Reception

Carlos Moedas
Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, European Commission
Karin Dahlman-Wright
Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Karolinska Institutet
Markku Markkula
President, European Committee of the Regions
Karen Maex
Rector Magnificus, University of Amsterdam
Michael Arthur
President & Provost, University College London
Eva Grut-Aandahl
Head of EU Government Affairs, Pfizer
Lisandro Benedetti-Cecchi
Vice Rector for European and international research, University of Pisa
Walter Weigel
Vice President, Huawei European Research Institute
Andreas Ebert
Regional Technical Officer, Microsoft
Luc Soete
Chair, EU’s Research, Innovation and Science Policy Experts committee; former Rector Magnificus, University of Maastricht

For more information please contact Lysiane Pons at or call +32 2 304 7577

Practical Information


FEB Conference Centre, Rue Ravenstein 4, 1000 Bruxelles





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