EUREKA Innovation Week 2016 – “A great exchange of experiences”

More than 900 participants from 33 countries met up in Stockholm during the EUREKA Innovation Week 2016 hosted by the Swedish EUREKA Chairmanship and the EUREKA Secretariat. The aim of the conference was to give participants the opportunity to meet, share ideas and discuss smart cities, and to showcase the opportunities that EUREKA offers for international collaboration and innovation.

“The response and number of participants at this event have far exceeded our expectations. Many countries have sent large delegations, and the EUREKA associated countries added a global perspective. It is clear to me that we as Europeans can provide many solutions to the global challenges we face, but we have to bring our ideas together first – this is where EUREKA can help,” says Oscar Stenström, State Secretary to the Minster for Innovation and Enterprise.

Oscar Stenström, State Secretary to the Minster for Innovation and Enterprise. Photo: Anette Andersson

“We are very excited about this as EUREKA is all about finding new partners for transnational R&D collaboration. This turnout shows that the framework provided by EUREKA is still valid even after 30 years,” says Per Tervahauta, Chairman of the EUREKA network during the Swedish Chairmanship.

Global Collaboration Day

With the centre of gravity of the global economy shifting outside Europe, the landscape for innovation is also changing rapidly, notably through international collaboration. EUREKA accompanies this change by helping European companies to internationalise their activities outside the borders of the old continent.

 "There are many opportunities for Europe as new markets and cooperation partners emerge," explained Prof. Sylvia Schwaag Serger, Executive Director International Strategy and Networks, Vinnova, in her keynote speech during the EUREKA innovation week 2016.

Prof. Sylvia Schwaag Serger, Executive Director International Strategy, Vinnova. Photo: Anette Andersson

In July 2015, EUREKA’s High-Level Group formally re-associated Canada and South Korea for another three-year period. Together with South Africa, which joined the network in 2014, they make significant contributions to EUREKA’s positioning as a global player in research and innovation. All three associated countries were present at the EUREKA innovation week in Stockholm. Break-out sessions and partnering events took place on April 26.

Kenneth Macartney, Ambassador of Canada to Sweden:

"Our government recently committed to creating a new innovation agenda for Canada, and EUREKA will continue to be an important component in this agenda. Since Canada joined EUREKA, over 50 projects with Canadian participation have been initiated."

Kenneth Macartney, Ambassador of Canada to Sweden. Photo Anette Andersson

Jae-Hoon Chung, President of KIAT, South Korea:

"The three associated members of EUREKA are ‘technological powerhouses’ representing Asia, Africa and North America.I hope that the relationship between the EUREKA network and associate countries is further enhanced and a truly global network will be established in the future."

Jae-Hoon Chung, President of KIAT, South Korea, Photo: Anette Andersson

Mamohloding Tlhagale, Director Strategic Partnership, South Africa:

“South Africa joined the Eureka network with the man aim of strengthening and promoting industrial research, development and innovation (RDI) networks and partnerships specifically for the South African private sector with the Eureka Network Member and Associated States. This will be achieved through generation and investment in strategic market-oriented research projects, and facilitating access to EUREKA members experience/expertise to build South Africa’s innovation capacities (technical, IP, management, and business).”  

Mamohloding Tlhagale, Director Strategic Partnership, South Africa. Photo: Anette Andersson

Read more about Global on the EUREKA website.

EUREKA Innovation Event

Keynote speakers and panel participants gave inspiring and diverse input to the conference theme: Smart Cities. Among them were two young students aged 13 and 14 and their teachers from Viktor Rydberg School in Stockholm, sharing how the school is working with actual societal challenges.

Esa Stenberg, Vinnova project manager for the event are very pleased with how it all ended: - We in the project of the Innovation Week 2016 worked hard to create a varied program, with women and men of different ages that would provide different perspectives on the theme of Smart Cities . Here I must say that we have succeeded. The icing on the message was that we managed to get our teachers and students from Viktor Rydberg school who told me about their efforts to engage the seventh graders in future cities. It gave a lot of food for thought for the participants. The fact that we had to extend the times for matchmaking session that it was a high enough pressure on the reservation feels really good.

Panel discussion with students and teachers from Viktor Rydberg School together with Jonas Spangenberg and Erin Walsh under the session "Future Cities". Photo: Anette Andersson

Winn Nielsen Head of City Data at the City of Copenhagen and Sara Mazur Head of Ericsson research, gave two different perspectives on how we can shape the futureof the smart cities with the help of innovative technology and the Internet of Things.

The matchmaking event arranged by Enterprise Europe Networkwas a great success and close to 900 meetings were held. 

“We are very excited about this as EUREKA is all about finding new partners for transnational R&D collaboration. This turnout shows that the framework provided by EUREKA is still valid even after 30 years,” says Per Tervahauta, Chairman of the EUREKA network during the Swedish Chairmanship.

Per Tervahauta, Chairman Swedish EUREKA Chairmanship. Photo: Anette Andersson

The participants also had the chance to visit 50 exhibitors with innovative projects from the different programs within the EUREKA Network and the co-organisers. Sweden was represented by Team Sweden which is an umbrella for all Sweden’s government agencies, boards and companies currently working on export promotion initiatives for Swedish businesses.


Helene Larssson, Communication officer, Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation, Esa Stenberg, Project Manager for Innovation Week, Vinnova, Oscar Stenström, State Secretary, Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation and Joakim Ladeborn, responsible for Team Sweden at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: Anette Andersson

Study visits in Smart Cities

Participants also had the opportunity to visit and try out self-driving buses at Ericsson Studios in Kista, see how a smart city is emerging in Stockholm Royal Seaport and in the City of Stockholm's project - Grow Smarter.

Självkörande bussar på Ericsson Studio. Foto: Gwendolyn Schaeken

EUREKA Innovation Award 2015/2016

During the event the EUREKA Innovation Award prize ceremony was held to highlight the top performing Eureka projects that finished in 2015. The projects were chosen for their outstanding results in international cooperation, technological innovation, economic success and societal/environmental benefits. A winning project was selected in each of three categories:

The winner in the category Competitiveness Celtic-Plus HFCC/G-fast. Photo: Anette Andersson 

Emanuela Keller from NeModDevices presenting Eurostars Opto-Brain Winner in the category Innovators of Tomorrow. Photo: Anette Andersson

ITEA DIAMONDS winner of the category Added value as well as the pitch prize. Photo: Anette Andersson

Read more about the Innovation Award on the EUREKA website.

Smart Cities and EUREKA Clusters at innovation week

Increased urbanisation, worldwide globalisation, ecological requirements, and higher expectations of citizens’ quality of life require new and innovative approaches towards smarter cities. Smart cities – the theme of the EUREKA Innovation Week 2016 - are places where the traditional infrastructures, services and networks are improved and made more efficient and sustainable with the help of innovative technologies. ICT and Internet of Things (IoT) devices play a crucial part for achieving the Smart City visions and goals.

"Cities are now part of the development and deployment of those smart cities solutions, and we will certainly work directly in projects with more and more cities in the years to come", said Jacques Magen, Chairman of the EUREKA Cluster Celtic-plus.

Read more on the EUREKA website.

View the streaming from EUREKA Innovation Week

Global Collaboration Day and Innovation Event were web streamed live and you can see the different sessions below. Please also see the speakers' presentations from the different sessions.

Global Collaboration Day April 26

Innovation Event April 27 


The Swedish EUREKA Chairmanship

Sweden’s responsibility as Chair includes representing the network externally, leading work in EUREKA’s various groups and monitoring activities at EUREKA’s Secretariat. Sweden took over the Chairmanship on 1 July 2015 and will pass it on to Spain on 30 June 2016.

Sweden has identified three main priorities for its Chairmanship.

  • Priority 1: Towards a lean and efficient governance model. The goal is to achieve a more appropriate organisational structure that promotes greater efficiency and transparency.
  • Priority 2: Creating a toolbox for Smart Globalisation. The goal is to deliver a general methodology and toolbox for the implementation of a new tool and to carry out pilot calls.
  • Priority 3: Further establish EUREKA in European Innovation Policy. The goal is to establish EUREKA as an important stakeholder in European Innovation Policy and contribute to the implementation of the European Research and Innovation Area.

The starting point for these priorities is the EUREKA 2020 Strategic Roadmap the network adopted during Norway’s Chairmanship in 2014. The Strategic Roadmap explains the goals of the network and which action points are needed to achieve these goals.

The Chairmanship is held jointly by the Swedish Government Offices and the Swedish Agency for Innovation Systems (VINNOVA).

About us

Vinnova is Sweden’s innovation agency. We promote sustainable growth by improving the conditions for innovation and by funding needs-driven research.

We promote collaborations between companies, universities, research institutes and the public sector. We do this by stimulating a greater use of research, by making long-term investment in strong research and innovation environments and by developing catalytic meeting places. Our activities also focus on strengthening international cooperation.

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