State of the Innovation Union 2012 & Country Profile AT
On 26 March 2013, the European Commission published a report on the "State of the Innovation Union 2012" which describes progress in meeting the goals of the Innovation Union Flagship Initiative in 2012. The Commission reports that more than 80% of the actions foreseen in the Innovation Union strategy are on track. Some areas of progress are highlighted and include:
•An agreement on the unitary patent, which should allow the first European patent with unitary effect to be granted and registered in spring 2014;
•The adoption of a Regulation creating a "European Venture Capital Fund" label for investment funds which will make it easier for venture capitalists to raise funds across Europe for the benefit of start-ups and SMEs;
•The signature of the first Risk-sharing Instrument agreements to encourage banks to provide more loans to innovative SMEs and small midcaps;
•The proposal of a new standardisation package and further steps to modernise EU public procurement law with the aim of helping innovative products and services reach the market faster;
•The launch of a pilot programme, the ERA Chairs Initiative, to help universities or research institutions in less developed regions in Europe to attract outstanding academics to places that want to be on the international map for top research;
•The proposal of four additional European Innovation Partnerships (EIPs) to pool resources around key societal challenges (Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability, Raw Materials, Water, Smart Cities and Communities); and
•The launch of a multi-dimensional and international ranking of higher education institutions.
The State of the Innovation Union report is accompanied by updated research and innovation country profiles.