Eco-innovation: Empowering entrepreneurship

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This conference discussed the role of eco-innovation policies and businesses in supporting European competitiveness, jobs creation...

The European Commission’s Europe 2020 strategy suggests that increasing resource efficiency is key to securing growth and jobs for Europe. Green innovations can help to deliver this aim by addressing environmental challenges, increasing productivity and creating new markets.

By adopting eco-innovations, a company can reduce costs, improve its capacity to capture new growth opportunities and enhances its reputation among customers. Eco-industries and related services have emerged as an important segment of the European economy. The sector has an estimated turnover of €319 billion, corresponding to 3.5% of EU GDP, and directly employs 3.4 million people. Eco-innovations are therefore a prevailing instrument with a positive impact on the economy and society.

Following a policy introduction, the conference focused on concrete examples of today’s eco-technologies, services and processes, which are flagship initiatives for Europe green economy and society (City, Materials Research & Innovation and Enhanced collaboration). Particular attention was given to the role of entrepreneurship and business incubation as an engine for microeconomic growth.

In addition to providing an excellent opportunity for networking, the conference showcased the latest European policies and laid the foundations for future collaborative project opportunities. An exhibition area displayed examples of regional microeconomic accelerators as well as related EU initiatives.

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