-The Covid-19 pandemic has triggered many challenges, but also opportunities, for businesses across Europe.
-We examine how the innovation and growth of firms in the EU have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and how as “European Innovation Champions”, SMEs reacted to the resultant shock.
-We find that compared to non-innovative firms, the economic performance of innovative firms in the EU has been considerably less affected by the pandemic. 1. Pandemic effects for business innovators… an exceptional context with little evidence in the literature
-We also identify five different paradoxical behaviours of ‘European Innovation Champions” during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
-Industrial policies targeting SMEs should be flexible and allow companies to adapt their investment plans in line with the evolving conditions to preserve and succeed through the crisis.
-EU instruments, such as the Recovery and Resilience Facility and Horizon Europe, offer wide opportunities for firms to exit from the Covid-19 crisis and boost their future competitiveness.