OCT 1, 2020. With September coming to an end, the EU capital is back in full swing once again. Workers are returning to their offices and going about their daily business. Among them are European policymakers and officials who are forging ahead with political priorities crucial to our region’s recovery. As Europe’s green and digital transition accelerates, human ingenuity, resourcefulness and innovation are going to be more important than ever.
With such large-scale transformation laying ahead, we want to inspire the next generation of inventors that will drive Europe into the future. Together with Think Young - a think tank seeking to involve young people in decision-making processes by shedding the light on key issues affecting them - we’re launching a campaign to do just that. By celebrating Europe’s Hidden Inventors, we want to bring recognition to the innovators behind European-born inventions that have transformed not just Europe, but the world.
Since ancient times, Europe has always been the home of innovation. European inventors have created new products and services, improving the way people around the world live and work. But when we speak of ‘inventors’, our minds often conjure up an image of Leonardo Da Vinci or 20th century researchers like Maria Skłodowska-Curie. However, Europe’s innovation footprint goes way beyond a handful of names in history.
Modern day European inventors are working in a diverse range of fields, from connectivity to medicine, from energy to robotics, and using their passion and creativity to improve our daily lives and drive our society forward. While we benefit from their creations daily, whether it’s Bluetooth or contact lenses, we often do not consider how these inventions came to be – or the brilliant individuals who brought them to life.
While we at Ericsson celebrate the outstanding contributions of our inventors regularly, the recognition other modern-day European innovators deserve is long overdue. That’s the goal of the Hidden Inventors campaign: to bring into focus the people who birthed some of society’s most impactful inventions, in celebration of their passion, drive and intelligence, and to recognise how they’ve changed our world for the better.
There couldn’t be a better time to celebrate Europe’s Hidden Inventors. As we charge ahead with its transformation to a greener and more digital economy, harnessing the potential of innovation is more important than ever. The ambitious political and policy agenda which was reconfirmed by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in her first State of the Union address this month, requires the EU to foster a policy environment that incentivises inventors and enables them to flourish.
To do so, we must go one step further than just admiring inventors. By ensuring strong protection of intellectual property rights, European policymakers can create a climate which fosters investments in research and entrepreneurship. A key tool for making this a reality will be the Intellectual Property Action Plan, proposed within the New Industrial Strategy for Europe. It presents a crucial opportunity to ensure that inventors benefit from IP rights and have a fair chance to compete and succeed on the merits of their creations.
Europe has demonstrated resilience, strength and ingenuity when faced with one of the biggest crises of our time. While we may have to adjust some of our habits and things may never go ‘back to normal’, we must remember Europe’s strong heritage of innovation, which will help us build a greener and more digital future at a time when global landscape is fundamentally changing. With this partnership, we hope to recognise brilliant individuals whose inventions will continue to shape our lives for years to come, inspire the next generation of Europeans, and advance policies that will foster innovation.
Join us in the celebration of Europe’s Hidden Inventors!