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How can Europe make life easier for startups?

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The European Commission (EC) wants to improve conditions for startups, and is looking for your ideas to help it succeed.

As part of the Horizon 2020 innovation program, the EC wants to know how best to drive future job growth and innovation in Europe. Startups can be an integral part of this, as not only can they offer job opportunities in a volatile economy, they also promote the development of new technology and products.

However, in Europe, with little funding and support available, starting up isn't always so simple.

The EU's new program, with a budget of approximately €80 billion, wants to place particular attention on innovation. As part of this drive, the EC wishes to "strengthen the environment for web-entrepreneurs in Europe, facilitate the increase in the number of web start-ups, as well as support their growth."

So, your ideas are wanted -- and the best ones that focus on the area of ICT innovation have a shot at being funded. Ideas can cover technological research, innovation issues and solutions, as well as aspects of the business environment.

The EC wants budget estimates and to know why you think your idea could help strengthen the position of tech-related startups across the states of Europe. In addition, the EC warns that ideas sent in should be based on supportive measures and funding, rather than regulation or legislation.

Some ideas the European Commission floated to give readers an idea of what they're after include pilot schemes, using "financial instruments" to bolster mature or fledgling startups, networking, campaigns and ways to help startups secure pre-seed funding.

Have an idea? The EC would like to receive it before December 5, 2012.

Image credit: Flickr

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— By on November 22, 2012, 12:23 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure