With its Energy Union Research Innovation and Competitiveness Strategy (EURICS), the EU can kill three birds with one innovative stone: to boost its competitiveness, Europe should become the global provider of low-carbon solutions, an objective best achieved democratically – with citizens at the centre and in the driving seat of Innovation.
To do this, this Tribune by Thomas Pellerin-Carlin, research fellow at the Jacques Delors Institute and Pierre Serkine, End-User Architect at KIC InnoEnergy, argues that:
- Europe needs a renewed approach to competitiveness and put innovation at its core.
- Innovation policy is more legitimate when it is democratic. The EU should therefore create a citizen-based instrument to steer European energy innovation.
- To the benefit of both competitiveness and democracy, the EU should propel a crowd-based digital platform where innovators and citizens can co-create innovations that are democratically selected, and crowd-financed by citizens, business angels, local communities and the EU. On this platform, EU budget allocation would be very simple: where an EU citizen invests one euro, the EU invests one euro. Supported projects can then become a start-up or an intrapreneurship project.