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Asia and Europe face new challenges

Sitra and the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) invited European and Asian experts to discuss common challenges related to innovation.

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Sitra and the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) invited European and Asian experts to discuss common challenges related to innovation.

The New Innovation Challenges for Europe and Asia seminar attracted almost two hundred experts to Helsinki on 2 May 2007. The seminar sought to answer the questions of how well prepared Europe and Asia are to face new kinds of challenges and what opportunities innovations would offer, particularly for education or the fields of environment and energy.

The transition in the world economy has carried with it new forms of innovation activities. Knowing how to best take advantage of them is increasingly important for a country’s success. User-oriented, open and social innovations will challenge traditional innovation policies and actors in Europe and Asia alike. The future challenges are by and large similar for both regions.

In the seminar, Dr. Ayao Tsuge (Executive Science & Technology Adviser in Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Ex- Executive Member of the Council for Science & Technology Policy in Cabinet Office of Japan) stressed that in social innovations we should enhance two main things: the national innovation system for global competition and collaboration and the contribution to the global sustainable innovation ecosystem.

– The global sustainable innovation ecosystem is a common issue for the entire world. We should use technological advances to contribute to the sustainable development of the world (especially Asia and Africa) in order to solve the global-scale crisis. Japan is already prepared to contribute in that respect with the new Comprehensive Strategy for Sustainable Innovation, Tsuge said.

The other speakers at the seminar included Innovation Expert Charles Leadbeater, who talked about user-oriented innovation, Paul Kimball, President of Sagebrush Capital, USA, who discussed energy and environmental issues, and Professor Shuzaburo Takeda, Waseda University, Japan, who discussed education.

The videocast of the seminar is available on Sitra’s website (www.sitra.fi) from 3 May. The seminar launched a series of seminars organised by Sitra in co-operation with leading international think tanks and research organisations.

Further information

Sitra
Foresight Director Timo Hämäläinen
tel. + 358 50 502 4900, timo.hamalainen@sitra.fi

Communications Manager Laura Niemi
tel. + 358 50 373 8602, laura.niemi@sitra.fi

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