European Research and Innovation Days 2024: A Celebration of 40 Years of Progress

Brussels, 18-21 March , 2024 – The European Commission’s annual flagship event, the Research and Innovation Days 2024, concluded on March 21st after two days of intensive discussions, celebrations, and reflections on four decades of European research and innovation excellence.

Under the theme “A 40-Year Journey through the Research and Innovation Framework Programmes,” the event celebrated the remarkable achievements made since the launch of the first EU Research and Innovation Framework Programme. Participants had the opportunity to delve into various topics, including Horizon Europe, the Green and Digital transition, EU missions, and the widening instrument, among others.

The event kicked off with the European Innovation Procurement Prize Ceremony on March 20th, followed by two days packed with engaging workshops, policy debates, and networking opportunities. Workshops were structured around three main themes: a Competitive Europe, a Greener Europe, and a Fairer Europe, aligning with EU priorities.

Throughout the Research and Innovation Week, participants had the chance to learn about successful EU-funded projects and their impact on society. The event showcased the importance of continued investment in research and innovation to tackle global challenges and maintain Europe’s competitiveness on the world stage.

Iliana Ivanova, EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education, and Youth, expressed her enthusiasm for the event, stating “ As we work together to make the EU a global leader in research and innovation, it’s an excellent moment to commemorate past achievements, engage with current endeavors, and lay the foundations for a future that embodies EU priorities.”

The Research and Innovation Week, which also included the EIC Summit 2024 and the Belgian Presidency Conference on Innovation Procurement, provided a platform for fruitful exchanges among thousands of policymakers, researchers, innovators, and stakeholders. Attendees had access to high-level speakers, policy debates, funding opportunities, workshops, pitching sessions, and exhibitions showcasing EU-funded projects.

Among the major themes covered, we find:

  • European Competitiveness: Highlighting the significance of investments and reforms to ensure Europe’s long-term competitiveness.
  • Access to Excellence: Addressing the need to reduce disparities in research and innovation to ensure equitable access across all regions.
  • Artificial Intelligence: Establishing a roadmap for the utilization of artificial intelligence in scientific discovery over the next decade.
  • European Green Deal: Exploring the research and innovation aspects of the European Green Deal, with a particular emphasis on missions, transportation, renewable energy, and energy-intensive industries.
  • Bioeconomy and Food Systems: Examining the role of innovation ecosystems in addressing complex social issues, focusing on human needs, bioeconomy, and food systems.

The Research and Innovation Week 2024 exemplified the collective commitment to advancing research and innovation for a better future. As Europe looks ahead, building on the achievements of the past 40 years, the event underscored the importance of collaboration and investment in driving progress and addressing societal challenges.

For more information on the Research and Innovation Days 2024 and future events, visit the European Commission’s website.