The Presidency will kick-off its six months at the helm of the EU with an informal Competitiveness Council on 10 and 11 July in JyvÃ¤skylÃ¤, where it will present a background paper on innovation.
"I believe that innovation policy is very much the joint responsibility of all ministers responsible for the various strands of the Competitiveness Council and, during the meeting, would like to hear your views on the topic. It is my intention to take this theme forward together with the Commission during the autumn," writes Mauri Pekkarinen, Finland's Minister for Trade and Industry, in his letter of invitation.
The innovation policy that Finland wishes to promote will be based largely on the recommendations outlined in the expert group report, chaired by former Finnish Prime Minister Esko Aho, and prepared on behalf of the European Commission. "The basic point of departure is a broadening of perspectives to include the demand for innovation," states the Finnish government.
The way to improve the EU's innovation policy is to develop markets that encourage innovation and create new demand, states the Finnish priorities paper. Important factors listed include standards, public procurements, enhancing the efficient operation of the market, mobility of research resources, and closer cooperation between universities and businesses.
On research, Finland aims to conclude negotiations on FP7 so that the programme can be launched at the start of 2007. A formal Competitiveness Council will take place on 25 September.
Further information on the research and innovation activities of the Finnish Presidency will be available from 3 July at:
For other information on the Finnish Presidency, please see:
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