There is a tendency for SMEs in Europe to be satisfied with only a moderate rate of turnover, with many businesses failing to grow after generating around 2 million euros per year. These numbers indicate that Europe lacks ambitious entrepreneurs, who are willing and able to employ innovative business models and technology across the region to scale up, Head of Society and Innovation, Member of the Executive Committee at The World Economic Forum (WEF) Nicholas Davis said during Vilnius Innovation Forum 2015.


“Despite having six of the world’s top ten most innovative economies, Europe has a significant competitiveness challenge. As a region, Europe has abundant capital, but it lacks the skills and regional integration needed to use these resources to achieve even higher levels of productivity in a rapidly transforming world. Europe‘s competitiveness issue is therefore really an innovation challenge“, emphasised Davis, one of the key speakers.


According to Davis, even though there were positive changes in terms of establishing a single market, Europe remains a largely fragmented region, and much more needs to be done to create a Digital Single Market to support innovative companies. Enterprises in the region lack the dynamism and ambitious entrepreneurs who are willing to take risk in order to stimulate growth.


“When you compare numbers of fast growing and fast shrinking companies in Europe and USA, you can see that Europe lags behind in both. To solve this problem, business leaders and policy makers should work to spur higher levels of innovation and integration, thereby creating better products and services, and improving the daily life of Europeans “, said Head of Society and Innovation at the Forum.


The speaker noted that cooperation between enterprises of various sizes is vital when creating innovation that can be commercialized successfully. Such cooperation in Europe would help to establish an effective innovation ecosystem and cope with cultural and linguistic challenges in the continent, as outlined in a recent World Economic Forum report titled Collaborative Innovation: Transforming Business, Driving Growth.


Vilnius Innovation Forum hosted over 1000 innovators, inventors and representatives of international organisations. Among them – representatives from NASA, Google, Mars One and CERN. The event was organised by the Ministry of Economy and the Agency of Science, Innovation and Technology. The event was sponsored by the European Regional Development Fund.