For immediate release
Brussels, 23 June 2015
Guided by a High Level Group of leading economic policy- makers, industrialists and thought-leaders including the former Director-General of the World Trade Organization Pascal Lamy, former European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and CEOs of leading European industrial companies, i24c seeks to develop a new, forward-looking approach to European industrial policy based on innovation.
As the global economy decarbonises more rapidly and deeply and is transformed by technological, social and ecological mega-trends, new opportunities arise across industries. A renewed focus on innovation will be key for Europe to maintain and strengthen its industrial leadership in this changing landscape, and to win global competitive advantage in both the near and longer term. However, there currently is a vacuum of thought leadership at the heart of European industrial policy on how such an innovation-based transition can be supported.
Filling precisely this vacuum is the mission of “Industrial Innovation for Competitiveness” (i24c), a new European platform launched today at the “Re-industrialisation of Europe” conference in Brussels.
i24c’s work is guided by a High Level Group of respected individuals including former European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, former Director- General of the World Trade Organization Pascal Lamy, Gary McGann, CEO of Smurfit-Kappa, Beata Stelmach, CEO Poland and the Baltics, GE and Mikko Kosonen, President of Sitra.
European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen welcomed the creation of i24c, saying: “Strengthening Europe’s industrial base is absolutely necessary. A strong, innovative and competitive industry will drive growth and jobs as well as help Europe address the big challenges of the 21st century like climate change. I am convinced that our industry can increase its competitiveness and lead in the modernisation and decarbonisation of our economies, so I look forward to i24c’s contribution in showing how this is possible.”
Supported by the European Climate Foundation, and working with the OECD as well as national platforms across key EU Member States, i24c brings together economic policy-makers, new and established industrial entrepreneurs, cities and academic institutions with the aim of creating a new European industrial compact. Together, they seek to create a new vision for European industry as well as the evidence-base to achieve the transition to the new world economy.
As a joint statement, two members of the High Level Group, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and Gary McGann said: “The time is right, for a re-imagining of industrial policy in Europe. We look forward to engaging in a conversation with leading thinkers across Europe about how best to unlock innovation, create jobs, and put European industry on the path to compete in the new, low-carbon global economy.”
Martin Porter, Executive Director of i24c said: “Innovation will be the life-blood of a successful transition to a new, sustainable economy. We are proud to launch i24c as an independent platform to enhance understanding and confidence in how, through a systemic focus on innovation, European industry can best compete and drive prosperity in this inevitable transition”.
Current members of the High Level Group are:
- Máire Geoghegan-Quinn (Former EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science)
- Dr Michael Jung (Director emeritus of McKinsey and Company)
- Caio Koch-Weser (Vice Chairman of Deutsche Bank and Chairman of the Board of the European Climate Foundation)
- Mikko Kosonen (President of SITRA)
- Bruno Lafont (Chairman and CEO of Lafarge)
- Pascal Lamy (President Emeritus of Notre Europe Jacques Delors Institute, Former Director- General of the World Trade Organization)
- Sir Philip Lowe (Former Director General for Energy (2010-2014) and for Competition (2002- 2010) of the European Commission)
- Gary McGann (Group CEO of Smurfit Kappa and Chair of CEPI)
- Professor Dennis Snower (President of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy)
- Beata Stelmach (CEO and General Director of GE Poland and Baltics)
- Lord Adair Turner (Chairman of the Governing Body of the Institute for New Economic Thinking)
- Philippe Varin (CEO and Chairman of Areva and President of the Cercle de l’Industrie)
The official press release can be found here.