José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, and Neelie Kroes, its vice-president and commissioner in charge of the digital agenda, launched the forum at a high-level summit in Brussels.
The forum is led by the Lisbon Council and Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation, in collaboration with the Startup Europe Partnership (SEP) and the European Commission. The University of Cambridge is one of the founding members of SEP, the first pan-European open platform dedicated to helping start-ups to progress to maturity. ideaSpace is the University’s representative in SEP.
The new forum gives a voice in public policy to the continent’s most enterprising and innovative entrepreneurs. It encourages Europeans to become web entrepreneurs, supporting technology start-ups and engaging with established corporate players to intellectually engage and inspire a new generation of leaders and doers.
At the launch Neelie Kroes said SEP and the forum are aimed at “giving a platform for start-ups to compete, raise funding, break through the glass ceiling to global success. Showing the facts, highlighting the opportunities, giving a political voice to this essential economic sector. Showing how well Europe is doing – and how we could do better.”
She added: “We are making it easier to share and spread bright ideas across the digital single market.”
The SEP programme is based on three main elements: matching start-ups with investment from corporates; mapping European start-ups and hubs to provide international visibility for emerging companies; and sharing best practice on entrepreneurship and corporate venture/start-up support.
For more on the European Digital Forum see here.