Ruairi Kelleher, CEO of Immedis, joins EU Unicorn’s call on Europe and its Leaders for a “Next Innovation EU”.   

April 9, 2021
4 mins read
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The Irish CEO of Immedis, Ruairi Kelleher, has been named alongside the founders and CEOs of the EU Unicorns Group that is calling upon EU institutions and the Member States to come forward with a new “European Moonshot“, in which the protagonists are the new breed of innovators: software and hardware startups, deep tech and green tech startups.  

The news of Kelleher’s appointment comes after a recent meeting where Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Education, Culture and Media, mentioned “We need European Unicorns to pave the way towards Europe’s sustainable and resilient recovery, accelerate the green and digital transitions, and ensure Europe’s technological sovereignty.”  

At this meeting, Kelleher, along with 34 additional Founders and CEOs of ventures going global from Europe, shared their experiences, visions and ideas for the rise of a European innovation ecosystem. Speaking at the meeting the Commissioner stated, “My idea is not to have a one-off meeting, but to ensure that the voice of leading innovators is heard all along the process of building an ambitious European Innovation Policy”, while also announcing in her invitation letter that the group will meet twice or three times a year.  

When asked about this recent appointment, Kelleher commented“I am proud to be part of such an exciting project with so many talented people and companies across Europe. Innovation is at the heart of what we do at Immedis so I hope to be able to offer some insights that can support the Next Innovation EU plans and to make a meaningful difference to EU policy”.   

The Unicorns Group’s mission is to provide thought leadership and contribute to the creation of a new generation of global champions coming from the EU. Borrowing from the start-up culture, Next Innovation EU will be inspired by a Lean Canvas ready for execution, with clear directions and ambitious flagships.  

The main directions include: 

  • Green Transformation: ensuring innovation contributes to a successful green transition. Ambitious objectives require discontinuity. Only startups have the mentality to cross the chasm.  
  • Tech Sovereignty: ensuring innovation produces a European Strategic Tech Autonomy via a “ScaleUp Europe” instrument nurturing European digital tech startups into EU global Tech Giants.  
  • Deep Tech Leadership: ensuring Europe’s leadership in the next wave of innovation fuelled by deep science from “bits” to “atoms and bits”.  
  • Innovation Cohesion: ensuring innovation becomes essential to territorial cohesion and growth in the EU. No one must be left behind, from cities to rural areas.  

These directions set the route for flagships that will be fully implemented during the mandate of the Commission Von der Leyen to give Europe the leadership in the future digital and sustainable world. 

The Unicorns Group comprises of 35 European Companies, including Immedis, and the selection was based on the assessment of technology, capital raised, current and prospective company valuation (focusing on market potential), patents and other assets, or existing market leadership.  

EU is currently home to 7.2% of worldwide unicorns. The sum of the value of all EU Unicorns plus EU tech and digital champions already public, is dwarfed by the value of today’s non-EU Big Tech, which allows them to buy out potential disruptors, solidify industrial control, build scale, and manage the global digital and tech agenda. This presents a risk to growth, jobs and Europe’s influence in key strategic areas and it is a journey that Kelleher and the team at Immedis are thrilled to be a part of.   

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