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Policies in support of high-growth innovative enterprises

The European Commission considers entrepreneurship and innovation as a key to growth, employment and wellbeing in Europe. However, the Commission sees considerable deficits related to entrepreneurship and innovation in Europe, compared to other regions in the world – notably North America and East Asia. In recent years, research has widely substantiated the importance of high-growth innovative enterprises (HGIEs) for job creation. The number and share of HGIEs in all enterprises is small, but the number and share of jobs they create is disproportionally large. However, Europe has apparently performed relatively badly in generating HGIEs that quickly become global leaders. Therefore Europe is eager to find effective ways to promote HGIEs. There is uncertainty about how to best design policy measures to support high-growth innovative enterprises in order to reach the desired impact. This study was designed to provide answers to some of the open questions about HGIEs and policies to foster them.

Policy Briefs

Policy Brief 1: HGIE characteristics   Download [1 MB]

Policy Brief 2: HGIE policies   Download [1.5 MB]

Workshop summary

 Download [207 KB]




09.30 - 10.00 Tour de table

Welcome and introduction

  • Pierre Vigier, European Commission, DG Research and Innovation: The European Commission’s policy objectives about HGIEs
10.00 - 11.15

HGIE characteristics and policies

Findings from a survey of 600 HGIEs in seven countries
  • Dr. Stefan Lilischkis, Senior Consultant, empirica GmbH (Germany)


 Download [369 KB]


   A discussant’s view
  • Albert Bravo-Biosca, Senior Economist, NESTA (United Kingdom)


 Download [254 KB]


11.30 - 12.45

Case studies

Accelerace – fostering HGIEs since 2008
  • Peter Torstensen, CEO, Accelerace  (Denmark) 




  Success factors of VC-backed enterprises in Switzerland
  • Prof. Dr. Pascal Gantenbein, Department of Financial Management, University of Basel (Switzerland)




13.45 - 15.00

Policy examples

Findings about HGIE policies in the US, the UK and France
  • Leonique Korlaar, Dialogic Innovatie & Interactie (Netherlands)




  A discussant’s view
  • Prof. Reinhilde Veugelers, Senior Research Fellow, Bruegel / University of Leuven (Belgium)

15.15 - 16.25

Panel discussion

HGIE policies in Europe – the way forwar
  • A public policy view: Pedro de Sampaio Nunes, Director, Eureka / Eurostars
  • A business view: Brian Dormand, Managing Director, Winning Pitch (United Kingdom)
  • A finance view: James Burnham, External Affairs Director, European Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (Belgium)
Moderation: Peter O’Donnel, Associate Editor, European Voice (Belgium)

16.25 - 16:30


  • Richard Deiss, European Commission, DG Research and Innovation