The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented changes to our societies. This
decisive moment is leading us to reconsider and change the way we live. Indeed,
innovation will play a crucial role in resolving this crisis and in ensuring a sustainable
and inclusive recovery. When thinks of Europe before and after the crisis, believes that
innovation acts as a bridge between the "old" and the "new".
To achieve the "new", Europe needs its innovators, more than ever. They are Europe's
key to solving the crisis, turning promising ideas and research into urgently needed
products and services for citizens, rebuilding our economy, society and jobs in a
sustainable way, and predicting and preventing future outbreaks. However, our
innovators and entrepreneurs are among those most affected by the crisis: investment
pipelines have practically dried up, supply chains have been severely hit, orders have
been suspended, innovation labs and universities have been closed to name but a few.
Many of us remember the impact of the 2009 financial crisis, when the EU economy
contracted by 4,5%. In a harsh reminder of the seriousness of today's crisis, the
European Commission presented a bleak economic forecast for 2020, with the EU
economy contracting a record 7,4% and 7,7% in the euro area.