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Werner Hoyer, President of the EIB ©EIB/To be defined

Speaking at the annual Science|Business Framework conference in Brussels, EIB President Hoyer said that Europe must lift investment by at least EUR 300 billion each year in innovation if it wants to catch up with the US and the leading economies in Asia. The President called for more and better investments in science, research and development to make Europe’s economy more competitive and more resilient.

According to the EIB’s investment survey, innovative young firms are 50 percent less likely than other firms to get credit, making it “phenomenally hard” for a small company with an innovative idea to become a successful innovator. “Small firms may introduce an innovative product, but they lack growth finance and, in a very stringent business environment, are unable to invest and grow,” he said.

He welcomed the European Commission’s proposal for the next Multiannual Financial Framework including the increased budget of EUR 100 billion for the new EU’s flagship Research Programme, Horizon Europe. But he added, “much more funding would still be needed to lift Europe’s innovation investments to the required levels.”

President Hoyer underlined the European Commission and EIB’s longstanding experience with dedicated financial instruments for research and innovation. He stressed the importance of joint risk-sharing financial instruments as “powerful tools” to step up investments in innovation in Europe.

The EIB President ended his keynote address saying that higher investments in innovation are the only way for Europe’s economy and society to maintain its wealth and role in the world.

The Annual Science|Business Framework conference held in Brussels, debated the policies and programmes Europe will need for long-term prosperity – across all sectors. Keynote speakers included European Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger and Mariana Mazzucato, economics professor at University College London.

Full speech

Watch President Hoyer’s speech