Innovation for Europe Report-first take
The World Economic Forum just released its report on "Innovate Europe." (download) It's pretty long so I haven't been able to get into it in depth, but there were two ideas there that I truly liked in terms of innovation that I thought I'd mention:
1. Creating a "regulatory sandbox" where innovators might try new things. This is brilliant. If you innovate, you are going to make some mistakes, some errors. Not only is failure an option, it's a virtual certainty. The idea of course is to not fail often, and fail in a way that is relatively cheap, harmless, and that allows you to learn from your mistakes.
Europe is well-known for being regulation-heavy, and running afoul of regulations can carry some heavy fines. Getting fined for innovating is a costly way of doing things. Creating a sandbox where new stuff can be tried out with willing and well-informed participants will lower the cost of learning what works, and will allow innovators in Europe to be on a more level playing field vis-à-vis their counterparts in the regulatory wild-west that is the United States.
2. Making efforts to double the number of female entrepreneurs. Need I add anything here? Yes! Yes! About time! If half the world is not participating in innovation then, by definition, we're letting an enormous resource go to waste.
There's lots of other interesting stuff there. I recommend a read.