Innovation and research

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This area is concerned with the likely impact of policy measures and initiatives on the pursuit of the following economic objectives: increasing the ability of EU firms and institutions to generate and utilise new knowledge, to introduce and diffuse new saleable products and services, as well as improve existing ones; favouring changes in organisation and institutional settings that enhance the effective allocation and generation of economic resources; increasing overall economic welfare by either increasing actual and perspective profitability or consumer rents, or a combination of both.[1]

Innovation is a fundamental determinant of industrial competitiveness, thus affecting a country's or region's international performance and is a fundamental engine of economic evolution, thus ultimately influencing the pace and direction of income growth.

EU policies aimed at increasing innovative capabilities are mainly Research policy and Intellectual property right policy. Research policy is mainly carried out by means of framework programmes, covering research, technological development and demonstration activities. The Protection of intellectual property policy (industrial property, copyright and related rights) is being introduced by means of different directives, decisions and regulatory measures (e.g. Ec Reg. 40/94 on the Community trade mark). It aims at reducing counterfeiting, eliminating barriers to the free movement of goods and services, and distortions of competition. EU strives for harmonisation of national laws (trade mark, designs, patents, utility models, biotechnological inventions, topographies of semiconductor products, computer programs, rental rights) and for stronger effective protection of intellectual property throughout the world.[1]

According to the Impact Assessment Guidelines of the European Commission, the following key questions are of particular importance when examining the impacts of policy initiatives on innovation and research:

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 JRC: IA TOOLS. Supporting inpact assessment in the European Commission.[1]

This text is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace any reference documents. The text is adapted from IAstar, European Commission internal report