Summary from the EU Innovation Convention 2014

2014-03-13 11:00

On March, 10-11, InnoPraxis has participated key European innovation event – the Innovation Convention 2014. The conference took place in Brussels and was supported by the European Commission. It has attracted participants from 65 countries, not only from Europe, but also organizations from New Zealand, Russia, the USA, Japan, Kenya, Iran and many others.

We would like to share the summary of key statements from the event with our readers.

Naturally, the innovative development of Europe was the main theme of the event. Key note speakers were rather critical, expressing the opinion that Europe does not utilize its innovation potential to full extent. Fragmentation, differences in legislation, language barriers and IT infrastructure – all these factors do not make Europe neither a common market nor easy market for fast growth of startups.

Almost all the speakers of the conference emphasized crucial role of business culture and attitude for the success of innovations. According to the businessmen with experience in America, the Europeans need to set their ambitious level higher. Innovative companies at early stage spend too much time at studying regulations, rather then focusing on developing best product or service, or simply “get things done”. As a result, Europeans lose to their competitors from America or Asia in the most important aspect – in speed, whether it is speed of decision making or Internet connection.

The program of the event was very diverse and comprehensive., including discussion with business and political leaders, pitching master classes and networking. However, at least one session is worth to highlight separately, meaning the session “Innovation in adversity” with provoking question: “is necessity the mother of invention?”. The speakers, mainly from developing countries, were excellent story tellers. The presentations were very practical and inspiring. Unlike many western speakers, who tend to tell what to do and discuss rhetoric questions, speakers from India and African countries provided very practical examples, telling how they support innovations and what they learn from it. For example, one of presenters, Mr. Bunker Roy told the story of "Barefoot College ", where illiterate "grandmothers" were trained to be solar engineers, with the aim of bringing light to the villages, not connected to electricity networks. In his speech, Mr Bunker, with a sense of humor, made his point, why they have chosen to train women instead of men.

But it was not only Mr Bunker, who showcased another trend observable at the conference - increasing presence of women in the technological innovation business. The organizers noticed it by starting the convention awarding successful women, directors or co-founders of successful technology companies.

As representatives of Finnish company of course we could not leave unnoticed the amount of invited speakers from Finland, including interim CEO of Nokia and marketing director of Rovio. Obviously, Finland continues to be one of the innovation role models, attracting attention from other countries.

Innovation Convention is a regular event, and we invite you to attend and participate in the following events .

We are looking forward to seeing you in Europe!

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