The most important rationale for cooperation on both sides is to improve competitiveness. Europe's motivation for international cooperation can be defined as the items that follow.
Competitiveness of EU
Increasing competitiveness by global knowledge sourcing and adapting to future markets with new demands. The recognition of BRIC countries as 'lead markets' for some goods and services might build a reasonable framework for discourses on increasing EU competitiveness through international collaboration.
The decline in the EU workforce is in contrast to the huge young potential workforce in BRIC countries.
Addressing global challenges
The effect and the driving forces of global challenges, such as climate change or limited resources, are global and need to be tackled at global level.
Development policy and foreign policy
Innovation collaboration can contribute to promoting political cooperation, and building mutual trust, understanding and capacities.
The following activities have been recommended as first steps towards a common EC innovation collaboration strategy with BRIC countries.
- Set up a policy dialogue in order to define mutual interest, priorities, and so forth, involving all stakeholders in a participatory process. Listening to the European industry, their needs and views would be essential for this dialogue. The main objective would be to develop bilateral innovation strategies with individual BRIC countries (joint priority setting) to provide an appropriate framework for collaboration. The most important first step would be to find a common language and build mutual trust.
- Promote measures to increase the visibility and raise awareness of the attractiveness of European HEIs, research institutions and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for BRIC and other developing countries. European Business Innovation Centers in BRIC countries could help to increase visibility and additionally support European companies, in particular SMEs to get access to global knowledge sources and new markets.
- Critical framework conditions need to be addressed in appropriate forums, in particular regulation, IPR and social as well as technical standards both between BRIC countries and EC, but also within the EC.
- Launch a study to collect the current innovation collaboration activities with BRIC countries in order to develop common and most effective approaches, and develop a strategy to make the most efficient use of existing approaches.
The Eighth INNO-Views workshop on 'Emerging Economies (BRIC Countries) and Innovation: Implications for innovation policies in Europe' brought together almost 35 leading experts and policy makers on 9 and 10 July 2009 in Brussels, Belgium. The workshop was hosted by the State of Baden-Württemberg. The workshop report, all presentations and a conclusion paper are available from the PRO INNO Europe portal here