“Rethinking Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the U.S. and EU”
In recent years, Silicon Valley has become one of the largest forces in driving innovation, technological advancement, and economic growth. Its unique mix of intellectual creativity, entrepreneurial talent and venture capitals has mystified outsiders.
Not only is innovation considered necessary to create jobs and restore competitiveness, it is also a major actor of societal organization. Rethinking innovation ecosystems in the U.S. and in Europe could indeed contribute to greater economic development.
On Thursday, December 6, 2012, the Brussels office of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) and the U.S. Mission to the European Union hosted a luncheon discussion on innovation and entrepreneurship. The event featured Rudolf Strohmeier, deputy director general for Research and Innovation at the European Commission, Matt S. Erskine, the acting Assistant Secretary for Economic Development at the U.S. Economic Development Administration, and Victor Hwang, managing director of T2 Venture Capital. Constanze Picking, non-resident fellow at GMF, moderated the discussion which focused on how rethinking innovation ecosystems and entrepreneurship could contribute to greater economic development in the U.S. and the EU. The event brought together a diverse crowd of policymakers, researchers and private sector representatives.
The conversation highlighted the cultural differences in innovation and doing business in Europe and the United States. While a better combination between research expenditures, private finance and public investment is needed to create a favorable global environment for innovation, empowering entrepreneurs remains crucial. Europeans and Americans can share experiences and practices in working to harness innovation in economic recovery and on bottom up strategies needed to stimulate growth and jobs.
An active discussion followed on the importance of new economic frameworks to spur growth on both side of the Atlantic. A new paradigm for innovation is needed to bring down existing barriers in trust between economic and social actors. Culture may as well be the key to accelerate the evolution of organizations into patterns of efficiency and productivity. The U.S. and the EU may indeed gain in understanding innovation policies as an instrument to bridge the gap between research and access to the market. Facilitating those linkages between business innovators could contribute greatly to transatlantic economic development.
Click here for Victor Hwang’s presentation on innovation ecosystems.
Listen to a podcast interview with Victor Hwang about innovation and entrepreneurship.