In 1985, a bunch of leaders from 17 European international locations and the European Fee gathered in Paris to comply with work collectively to help nearer cooperation between companies and analysis organisations within the area of ‘superior applied sciences’. It was the Eureka second and noticed the delivery of what’s immediately the world’s largest public community for worldwide cooperation in R&D and innovation. The remainder as they are saying is historical past!
However what of the historical past of Eureka and what prompted the concept within the first place? It was actually a response, a European response to the launch by Ronald Reagan of his Strategic Defence Initiative — popularly referred to as Star Wars. While the SDI had a army goal, it was clear that such important expenditure would stimulate and quickly speed up know-how improvement within the US. Europe wanted to maintain tempo and Eureka was the reply.
For these not acquainted with Eureka, it’s a thriving community to help worldwide R&D and innovation initiatives. Supported and funded by nationwide ministries and innovation companies, it’s current in over 45 international locations throughout Europe in addition to international locations corresponding to South Korea, Canada and the most recent member to hitch Singapore.
Since 1985, over 7,500 R&D initiatives have been supported by means of Eureka with a complete funding from the private and non-private sectors of over £41 billion. Over £940 million has been mobilised within the UK and involving over 5,000 enterprise and analysis organisations with collaborations with 46 international locations, together with these outdoors of the Eureka membership.
How does Eureka help companies?
Eureka has a variety of methods by which R&D initiatives are supported – from Eurostars, the most important worldwide funding programme for SMEs wishing to collaborate on R&D initiatives, to Globalstars forging collaborations with international locations globally, to Clusters supporting bigger collaborative R&D initiatives typically bringing collectively corporates and small companies constructing the worth chains of the longer term.
The UK, by means of funding from Innovate UK, has supported Eurostars since its inception in 2008 by means of two requires initiatives a 12 months and extra lately, as a part of the UK Chairmanship of Eureka in 2018-19, Clusters and Globalstars, for the latter main the primary calls ever with Singapore and Japan opening up extra alternatives.
As we glance to assist extra UK companies make international success a key a part of their innovation-driven progress and scaling journey, Eureka has a key function to play. A trusted community of public organisations working in collaboration relatively than competitors and with the need to ship mutual profit for the companies and analysis organisations we work with.
A altering surroundings
The unique intent of Eureka was to ‘allow Europe to grasp and exploit the applied sciences which can be essential for its future, and to construct up its functionality in essential areas’. The Covid-19 disaster has highlighted the fragility of worldwide provide chains and dropped at the fore as soon as once more a deal with “know-how sovereignty” and international locations wanting extra autonomy in key know-how areas.
While having assured entry to key applied sciences in some areas will undoubtedly be fascinating, because the saying goes ‘two heads are higher than one’ and international locations, firms and different organisations working collectively will be extra productive, extra progressive and ship thrilling and recreation altering improvements. Covid-19 has demonstrated the necessity and true worth of sharing information and worldwide R&D and innovation collaboration and many individuals have benefitted consequently.
Celebrating 35 years and trying to the longer term
As we rejoice the 35th anniversary of Eureka it’s as related immediately because it was in 1985 if no more so. Enterprise is now way more international and constructing worldwide partnerships and collaborations a key manner for fulfillment, opening markets and delivering future financial progress. World collaboration will even be important in fixing a number of the main societal challenges we face corresponding to local weather change which nobody nation can clear up working in isolation.
As we take part celebrating the 35th anniversary of Eureka we glance again on the previous and what has been achieved and look ahead to the longer term and lots of extra years of Eureka delivering ‘innovation past borders’.