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Participation of BIOAZUL as model SME in the discussion on Horizon 2020 innovation initiatives at the IGLO Spring Reception 2016: Can Europe deliver on innovation? Practitioner and policy perspectives

The Informal Group of RTD Liaison Offices (IGLO) held its annual Spring Reception on June, 1st, 2016 in the Palais des Académies, Brussels, Belgium. This year’s edition was entitled ‘Can Europe deliver on innovation? Practitioner and policy perspectives’. European Research and Innovation policy is at a crucial point with the upcoming interim evaluation of Horizon 2020 and an ambitious plan to possibly consolidate the innovation instruments within a European Innovation Council (EIC).

The aim of the IGLO Spring Reception was to showcase the view from the practitioner perspective and bring to the fore concrete ideas and feedback that can be used by the European Commission in further improving programmes, instruments and activities to let innovation flourish in Europe.

A keynote speech was given by Mr. Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General of DG Research & Innovation. Afterwards, a debate on the current situation called ‘Horizon 2020 innovation initiatives from the participants’ perspective took place. The invited speakers were:

  1. Prof. Dr.-Eng.  Ernst Schmachtenberg, Technical University of Aachen, Germany (University vision)
  2. Dr. Giovanni Nisato, CSEM, Switzerland (RTO vision)
  3. Mr. Jaroslav Klíma, CEO, TESCAN, Czech Republic (MidCap vision)
  4. Ms. Pilar Zapata Aranda, Senior Project Manager, BIOAZUL, Spain (SME vision)


Ms. Zapata discussed about the different instruments available within H2020 and their adequacy for SMEs, the type of entity she represented. She mainly focused on the SME instrument and the FTI programmes.

Finally, Mr. Chris North from the EIC Team (DG Research & Innovation) explained the last developments regarding the European Innovation Council (EIC) as a “game changer”.

Following these interesting discussions regarding the present of the H2020 innovation initiatives and the future landscape with the possibility of the EIC’s birth, a networking session was held.

Download the programme here

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