Welcome to the CORDIS Web service of the Belgian Council Presidency of the EU (July - December 2010)
Minister of Economy,
and Foreign Trade
(Brussels' regional Government)
Knowledge: the engine of tomorrow's growth
Knowledge will be the principal engine of tomorrow's growth, growth that will not simply be similar to « that of yesterday », but growth that is really to be reinvented and should be put in the perspective of ultimate goals such as the improvement of employment and the well-being of our fellow citizens, as well the sustainability of our planet.
In this context, we need to strengthen the link between the capacity to create new knowledge, competitiveness of our companies and the creation of employment. Therefore we need a large, transversal and inclusive vision on research and innovation.
Consequently the Belgian Presidency wants to contribute to concretize the Research and Innovation aspects of the “EU-2020” Strategy, with a general option for creativity.
The Belgian Presidency intends to revisit instruments and governance of the knowledge triangle (research, innovation and higher education), considering that instruments and activities have to be designed or reshaped, taking account of a dual necessity:
- on the one hand, to build bridges between research, innovation and education;
- and on the other hand, to promote implementation at a decentralised and regional level.
The Belgian Presidency will ensure that the European Research Area is a key element of the « EU-2020 » strategy.
A point of debate will be the “successor” of the Barcelona objective, targeting to increase R&D spending to 3% of GDP, adding to it a more qualitative dimension and the monitoring of the objective.
Even if the 3% objective has not yet been reached, it remains pertinent in itself and in the perspective of it's mobilising effect, including on industry.
Beyond this, what is important, is not only the quantity of money spent but also the efficiency of means and, even more, the achieved results. For instance in terms of increase of the mobility of researchers and academics or the quality of higher education.
Putting Research and Innovation at the core of the « 2020 » Strategy, also implies to progress in concrete towards convergence of Research and Innovation policies. This is more specifically achieved through initiatives such as joint programming, but also through a model of governance that effectively promotes synergies between research, innovation and higher education, as well as synergies between the European Union, Member States and regions.
Specific attention will be given to the simplification of the administrative and financial control procedures, as well as to the coherence of Research and Innovation programmes. Administrative and financial simplification is not a minor issue. It is vital to the improvement of access to European programmes of small and medium entreprises in particular. Moreover, without this effort of simplification, it will be far more difficult to guarantee real complementarity between Community, national and regional instruments.
Special attention will also be given to the significance of showing the citizen the importance of investment in research. It's essential to explain to the public opinion the importance of long term investment in research, for a sustainable society and for the well-being of future generations.
Minister of Economy, Employment, Scientific Research and Foreign Trade (Brussels' regional Government)
Acting President of the Competitiveness Council (Research) under Belgian Presidency