Jack Ewing/Jennifer Fishbein of BusinessWeek posted the exact sentiments I shared about the Business Week top innovators list today, European companies were poorly represented on the list. There is plenty of innovation mojo in Europe although it doesn’t always reside in the multinationals.
The article notes that Soumitra Dutta, author of the famous Insead study, attributes Europe’s progress in part to deregulation forced by the European Union. “The EU process is a great trigger for innovation” There should be grave caution on the role of government. It provides a smart source of demand for innovation but the value of EU policy and infrastructure has its boundaries. Government tend to get too cozy in Europe and well, innovation is about science, technology, healthy political environment – there are other things including nimbleness and capability of realizing a desired future state. I’m not always confident that Europe reaches towards these stars. The social brokering of innovation outside of Brussels and Strasbourg may be part of Europe’s downfall.