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The many trials of 2020 have exposed the inadequacy of business as usual in the innovation pipeline. Great ideas arise everywhere, every day – the challenge is to make it easier for researchers and innovators to become entrepreneurs, bring their ideas to market, create jobs and improve quality of life for the rest of society. The European Innovation Council offers a visionary approach to capitalising on science, innovative SMEs and start-ups. The panel will discuss how supporting high-risk, high-impact ideas and turning science into new business can ensure a just transition to a new economy that works for all people.