Preliminary French proposal for a new ‘disruptive innovation’ agency could be outside the usual EU framework. In order to realise his new funding agency for disruptive innovation, Emmanuel Macron has a vision that puts national governments centre-stage.

The French president announced his plan to set up an agency in a major speech last week that set out a sweeping vision to revamp the EU.

France’s current intention – described as preliminary- is to develop the agency into a special purpose vehicle: an “inter-governmental” arrangement. That suggests it would be outside the normal EU framework, in a similar vein to bodies such as the European Defence Agency, sources at the Élysée Palace told Science|Business.

This approach, which is still being tested in discussions with other member-states, would have the initiative controlled by participating governments rather than by than the EU’s Brussels-based institutions. Under this kind of arrangement, much of the funding could still come from EU programmes, but overall strategy is set by those member-states that want to join it.

An arrangement like this, analysts said, means it could develop independently from the Commission’s own plan for a European Innovation Council, which would start in 2021. It also means that it might be easier for the UK, which is preparing to leave the EU, to participate – an important factor, given that Britain is one of the strongest research and innovation players in Europe. Read the full article here.