Start-ups must turn the tide

Nieuws | de redactie
3 oktober 2012 | In response to the alarming unemployment rates among youths, telecom giant Telefónica and the Brussels’ think tank the Lisbon Council together announced a new initiative to halt the European ‘brain drain’ and quickly create ‘hubs of innovation’.

At the presentation of the centre of excellence (called StartUpEurope), Andreas Schleicher of the OECD once more underlined theseverity of youth unemployment and the changing demand forskills.

OECD skills demand 2-10-12Telefónica and the Lisbon Council identify’fast-tracking the creation of ‘hubs of innovation’ as a key leverto reverse the negative trends. Through encouraging entrepreneurialspirit across Europe they propose to help the region regain itsleadership in technology and innovation.

European Commissioner for Research, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said:”Too often, we think of young people as lacking in skills andexperience when, in fact, they can understand the newtransformative technologies in a way that older people cannot. Youare trying to harness young people’s talents to offer them andEurope a brighter future.”

Job creation= priority no. 1

Eva Castillo, CEO Telefónica Europe, added: “Young people arefull of ideas, energy and enthusiasm, but they need the rightsupport to turn their ideas into reality. With Europe facing thehighest unemployment rate in more than 20 years, job creation andcareer opportunities are key priorities.”

Castillo showed in her presentation that Europe is losing itsmarket share in the field of IT.

Castillo EU market share in IT 2-10-12 

Ann Mettler, executive director of the Lisbon Council, said:”StartUp Europe could not come at a more suitable moment. With muchof Europe in crisis, we want to send a message of confidence byunleashing the power of youth, technology and innovation. More thanever, success depends on entrepreneurial ventures that power thenext generation of technology and that drive the growth and jobs weso urgently need. Against this backdrop, StartUp Europe will deploynew metrics and communication tools to reach policy makers andhackers alike.” 

Telefónica and the Lisbon Council are creating amultidisciplinary community that will contribute the levels ofprofessionalism and intellectual rigour required by young Europeanentrepreneurs striving to create new technology ventures, driveforward change and kick-start innovation.

In addition, StartUp Europe will identify and seek to involvekey individuals and organisations which are crucial to developing afavourable eco-system in which innovation and risk taking canthrive. It will further establish a high-level advisory board anddevise a compelling outreach strategy towards policymakers,entrepreneurs and opinion makers. 

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