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European Commission launches new system for identifying public-funded innovations with disruptive potential

The European Commission this week launched a first-of-a kind indicator system that identifies public-funded innovations with disruptive potential. The new system – the Market Creation Potential Indicator - was developed by the Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC). It offers citizens and other stakeholders a novel way to navigate the outputs of Horizon 2020 – the EU’s Research and Innovation programme – and the opportunities they present to create new markets.

picture of a  light bulb evoking ideas and innovation

Public-funded research and innovation programmes, such as Horizon Europe, play an important role in transforming the results of basic research into new technologies. Such emerging tech has potential to form new industries and markets that may never have otherwise emerged if it was not for the public sector taking risks that private actors are not able to assume. However, such a catalysing role for the public sector, as recognised and advocated by economists such as Mariana Mazzucato (author of the ‘Governing Missions in the European Union’ paper), requires a new toolset to measure and assess the market-creating effect of public R&I policies.

The new Market Creation Potential Indicator (MCPI), a direct response to this need, builds on the notions of two widely accepted concepts of market-creating innovations: Disruptive Innovation (as outlined for example in Clayton Christensen's 1997 book "The Innovator's Dilemma") and Blue Ocean Innovation (as outlined by Kim W. & Mauborgne, R. in their "Blue Ocean Strategy" article published in the Harvard Business Review - October 2004). The resulting MCPI framework is developed around several relevant signals gathered by the ‘Innovation Radar’, a data-driven method that identifies high potential innovations in EU-funded research projects.

The report outlining the MCPI also includes an in-depth analysis of over 6300 EU-funded that were categorised using the MCPI. This analysis demonstrated that:

• 35% of all EU-funded innovations show market creation potential (the remaining 65% address needs of existing customers or markets);

• 14% of all innovations show high or very high disruptive potential;

• Horizon 2020’s EIC Pathfinder pilot (formerly FET OPEN & FET PROACTIVE) is home to the innovations with the highest disruptive potential in Horizon 2020.

The MCPI presents the possibility for the public to discover EU-funded innovations with market creation potential. This possibility is now already a reality on the Commission’s Innovation Radar platform which  features an MCPI filter to facilitate discovery of innovations with market-creating potential.

More information

JRC report on “Market Creating Innovations in the EU Framework Programme”

About Innovation Radar

The European Commission's Innovation Radar is about finding excellence across all the EU funded research and innovation projects. It identifies high potential innovations and the key innovators behind them in projects that have received investment from Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation programme. So far, more than 3000 innovative organisations have been included in the Innovation Radar.

In 2014 the European Commission's DG Connect started collecting a broad set of data about the innovative outputs of EU-funded Research and Innovation projects. Using a model developed with the Joint Research Centre, the European Commission has been analysing this data to extract insights and intelligence about the best innovations and innovators. Potential innovations and innovators are then identified with the help of experts. The Innovation Radar also provides guidance and support during the project duration to help the innovation reach the market.