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Conference announcement & Call for papers

Conference announcement - background and highlights

The biennial European Conference on Corporate R&D and Innovation (CONCORDi) is a science-to-policy forum of leading academics and policymakers to inform on issues relevant for the present and future EU policy agendas arising from the frontier scientific knowledge in this area. 

CONCORDi conferences have been organised by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) – Directorate for Growth and Innovation in Seville since 2007.  

The European Commission’s JRC will host the 8th edition of CONCORDi (2021) in cooperation with the European Association for Research and Technology Organisations (EARTO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

The aim of CONCORDi 2021 is to support decision-makers with novel scientific-based outcomes addressing the role of industrial innovation in achieving competitive sustainability in the EU, the implementation of the green and digital transitions as well as the global sustainability agenda. As stated in the communication of the European Commission “A New Industrial Strategy for Europe” (March 2020), industrial innovation is at the heart of the above transitions and sustainability objectives. This is expanded by the deep societal, environmental / ecological and economic challenges, aggravated by the COVID-19 crisis. While delivering on Europe’s recovery is a pressing priority, the green and digital transitions are more important than ever to make Europe stronger, more competitive and a better continent where to live.

Such EU strategy setting aims to improve the EU welfare via digitalization and the process of ‘greening’ the economy and society. At the heart of the strategy is the ability of Europe’s industry to lead the twin transitions and drive our competitiveness, becoming the accelerator and enabler of change and innovation. This will require a coordinated and targeted mobilisation and deployment of Europe’s scientific excellence and knowledge, research, innovation, investment and societal assets, institutions and capacities. Moreover, the new “European Research Area” communication (Sept. 2020) emphasises R&D investment targets to trigger structural change, together with technology roadmaps and industrial alliances to nurture place-based innovation and ecosystems for European start-ups and fast-growing companies with a competitive edge in the global markets. These objectives and targets will be supported by Horizon Europe, the ambitious EU research and innovation framework programme (2021-2027).

Following this, CONCORDi 2021 will focus on the role of corporate investment in Research & Innovation (R&I), sustainable practices and related policies, and their impact on business dynamics, growth and sustainability. Of particular interest will be to develop further knowledge about the role of firms in the green and digital transitions.

It is expected that the conference will contribute to political priorities of the European Union: the European Green Deal, Digital Economy, Strategic Autonomy and Technological Leadership policy objectives. Based on its traditional science-to-policy discussions, CONCORDi 2021 will inform policy-makers and economic players on how corporate R&D and innovation strategies could best contribute to competitive sustainability and how relevant policy interventions could guide and support it. The publication of evidence-based outputs from the conference is foreseen both in terms of contributions to a peer-reviewed journal as well a summary report or a Policy Brief.

The Conference will be organized in both plenary and parallel sessions. Three of the special sessions (all devoted to subjects at the core of CONCORDi 2021) will be organised by OECD, EARTO and UNIDO in collaboration with the European Commission’s JRC.

CONCORDi 2021 will be held virtually on 22-25 November 2021.