Innovating Europe

Europe needs to innovate at scale to support its economic and social system. This special collection explores the innovation opportunities and challenges facing the continent in domains ranging from digital and AI, to green technology, to education, training and the future of work. It also explores how Europe is responding to COVID-19.

How European businesses can position themselves for recovery

The path to the next normal is uncertain and will differ for each country, sector, and company. There are ways, however, to prepare for the transition.


Europe’s response to the virus

The COVID-19 pandemic is primarily a health crisis and a human tragedy, but it also has far-reaching social and economic ramifications for Europe.

Safeguarding Europe’s livelihoods: Mitigating the employment impact of COVID-19

– The COVID-19 pandemic has put tens of millions of jobs at risk. Examining the industries, occupations, and demographics most in peril can help decision makers shape targeted and rapid responses.

Navigating the post-COVID-19 era: A strategic framework for European recovery

– As Europe’s lockdowns begin to loosen, resources need to be directed with care.

Europe needs to prepare now to get back to work—safely

– The next coronavirus challenge for European policy makers is to restore both lives and livelihoods.

How growth can help Europe’s companies face the coming economic crisis

– CEOs can draw on the region’s spirit of innovation to recover revenues, and even grow, after COVID-19. It’ll take some big bets.


Responding to climate change

The economic impact of climate change is real and growing. European businesses need to understand the risks, and also the opportunities as consumers and governments demand sustainable products and services.

How the European Union could achieve net-zero emissions at net-zero cost

The decarbonization pathways to a net-zero Europe are countless, but not all are cost optimal. We explore one pathway that could reduce the EU’s emissions 55 percent by 2030 while delivering broad economic benefits.

Germany’s energy transition at a crossroads

– Germany has been a leader in the transition toward a low-carbon-energy system, but it will still miss most of its energy-transition targets for 2020. Urgent action is needed to get back on track.
Report - McKinsey Global Institute

Climate risk and response: Physical hazards and socioeconomic impacts

– How could Earth’s changing climate impact socioeconomic systems across the world in the next three decades? A yearlong, cross-disciplinary research effort at McKinsey & Company provides some answers.

Rethinking the renewable strategy for an age of global competition

– Renewable-based power generation is rising. As the market evolves, what will it take to succeed, and what kinds of players will win?


A global powerhouse

Europe’s relatively high wage costs and low reliance on natural resources mean that innovation remains of fundamental importance for the continent’s economic and social system.
Discussion paper

Reviving innovation in Europe

Innovation is of fundamental importance for Europe’s economic and social system. These five paths could build on its strengths and help the continent regain its competitive edge.

Europe’s start-up ecosystem: Heating up, but still facing challenges

– More ventures are achieving unicorn status, and at a faster pace, but many more still aren’t realizing their full potential. What’s holding them back, and what can change that?

How purpose-led missions can help Europe innovate at scale

– Missions can foster broad collaboration between business leaders and the public sector while also garnering support from European citizens.

Biotech in Europe: A strong foundation for growth and innovation

– European companies have an opportunity to play a stronger role in the industry by focusing on three factors.


Closing the gap

By 2030, Europe could add €2.7 trillion to its economic output by building on its strengths in digital and AI to close the gap with other regions.

Tackling Europe’s gap in digital and AI

Europe’s average digital gap with the world’s leaders is now being compounded by an emerging gap in artificial intelligence.

Digitizing Europe’s railways: A call to action

– The future of train traffic is digital. To accelerate the digitization of Europe’s railways—and thus secure the future of its railroad industry—stakeholders must change the way the industry operates.

Digital Challengers in the next normal in Central and Eastern Europe

– Acceleration of creating a digital, tech-driven economy could be the key to post-pandemic growth in the region.

The CEO’s new technology agenda

– Technology performance has become critical to business success. Here’s how a CEO can focus the technology function on a company’s strategic priorities.

Future of Work

Enhancing capabilities

By focusing on education, mid-career training and attracting skilled employees from outside the region, Europe can create a workforce for the jobs of tomorrow.

The future of work in Europe

– Beyond COVID-19, automation, migration, and shrinking labor supply are shifting the geography of employment.

The future of work: Rethinking skills to tackle the UK’s looming talent shortage

– Profound structural shifts are under way in the UK workforce. Here’s how companies can prepare to meet the challenge and nurture the skills and talent that will help them stay competitive.
Discussion Paper - McKinsey Global Institute

Testing the resilience of Europe’s inclusive growth model

– The combination of six global megatrends is increasing the stress on Europe’s inclusive growth and the EU social contract.
Report - McKinsey Global Institute

The future of women at work: Transitions in the age of automation

– Concerted and creative new solutions are needed to enable women to seize new opportunities in the automation age; without them, women may fall further behind in the world of work.


New dynamics, new opportunities

Europe leads in many sectors, including automotive, pharmaceuticals, luxury goods, and more. Our research examines shifting boundaries, technology transitions, and opportunities for growth.

A long-term vision for the European automotive industry

Technological disruption is redefining mobility. How can the European automotive industry capitalize on its successes to shape the ecosystem and craft a brighter future?

European private banking: An inescapable call for action

– New headwinds in a profitable market indicate the need for fundamental transformation.

Travel and logistics: Data drives the race for customers

– We analyzed data from 15 European countries to better understand emerging travel industry technology and customer needs in the travel and logistics sectors. What can companies in this space do to respond to shifts and sharpen their digitization strategies?

The offshore-wind industry’s moment of reckoning

– The days of stable and relatively high revenues are ending for Europe’s offshore-wind developers, owners, and operators. Making money on tomorrow’s low-price projects will require a new degree of discipline.