More Attractive European Research Area to help Overcome the Global Financial Crisis

The European Commission recently published the 2008 Science, Technology and Competitiveness key figures report, which provides an overview on Research and Development (R&D) investment trends in Europe and on the status of the creation of the European Research Area from 2000-2006.

The report highlights the progress made by the EU in terms of innovation performance and attraction of foreign investments, from both the US and from other countries. However, the EU is still far from reaching the target set by the Lisbon Strategy of investing 3% of GDP in R&D and the European ambition to perform as the leading knowledge-based society on the international scene faces a series of challenges. The most serious challenge is the decrease of R&D financing in the business sector, as well as the limited size of the high-tech industry in Europe, and the consequent gap still existing between the R&D intensity of Europe and its competitors.

Vice-President Günter Verheugen, the EU Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry and Janez Potocnik, Commissioner for Science and Research, commented on the report, stating that “in a time of crisis, it is not the moment to take a break in research investments and in innovation. They are vital if Europe wants to emerge stronger from the economic crisis and if it wants to address the challenges of climate change and globalisation. The Commission’s initiatives to improve the EU’s research efficiency, to stimulate innovation and to develop high tech markets are putting the EU on the right tracks”.

Click here to view the full version of the Science, Technology and Competitiveness key figures report 2008/2009