It was great to see meet so many interesting people and see just how enthusiastic politicians and others are about promoting and facilitating innovation in Europe. For IMI, it was also a fantastic opportunity to spend time with and learn from our fellow joint undertakings. Although we work in very different sectors, we have a lot in common.
We are all partnerships between the EU and major industries as well as (in some cases) Member States. We are all working in areas that are of vital importance for both Europe's economy and our quality of life. We are all building new communities or 'innovation ecosystems' that are proving capable of solving some of the biggest challenges facing society today - the need for safer, better medicines; the need for cleaner energy and transport and materials; the need for smarter electronics and computing. Most importantly, we all demonstrate that the joint undertaking / public-private partnership model is successful and can deliver real socio-economic impacts in a relatively short space of time.
This storify story gives a snapshot of some of the highlights of the conference for IMI.
We arrived on the afternoon of Monday 7 December and soon had our stands set up in the EIS exhibition area.
A joint press release from the joint undertakings
Tuesday 8 December was a busy day for us JUs. We were in the European Parliament early for a press breakfast where the JUs issued a joint press release and highlighted the socio-economic impacts of their activities.
A joint speech on JU successes
The next item on the agenda was a session on 'getting the framework right: policies and instruments for innovation', where FCH JU Executive Director Bert De Colvenaer gave a speech on behalf of all JUs. The session was chaired by Jerzy Buzek MEP and among the speakers was Rudolf Strohmeier, who is actively involved in the Governing Boards of three JUs: IMI, Clean Sky, and FCH. In his presentation, Bert focused on the many things linking the JUs. He should get a gold star for the way he squeezed success stories from all six participating JUs into his speaking slot. The session was wrapped up by Vicky Ford MEP.