August 2004 - A force to be reckoned with
The internal market just got bigger. And competition just got fiercer. Timo Summa, in charge of promotion of entrepreneurship and SMEs at the European Commission, tells Euroabstracts how enlargement is changing the commercial landscape for SMEs in the 25-member European Union.
June 2004 - The new competitiveness agenda
William Burgess, chairman of Ireland’s National Competitiveness Council, says the country has not performed as badly in practice as its slipping place in the innovation rankings would suggest. Nevertheless, the Council has made four recommendations to the government to promote innovation.
April 2004 - Can regulation be good for innovation?
The relationship between innovation and regulation is a complex one which, until now, has been little studied. Euroabstracts talked to Dr Knut Blind, the leader of a recently published investigation into how regulatory frameworks affect the innovation process.
February 2004 - In everybody's interest
The Commission's green paper of 2001 has prompted a growing interest in corporate social responsibility (CSR), the idea that companies have a moral obligation towards their stakeholders, society and the environment, beyond any legal or contractual ties. Enterprise Commissioner Erkki Liikanen explains what the Commission is doing to promote CSR among European businesses.
December 2003 - Four voices from industry
Since the Roman empire and the Renaissance, Italy's scientists have been making their mark in research, engineering and design. Italy's economy, with its wealth of famous names, is in the EU's top four. But can it keep up? Euroabstracts listens to what four representatives of Italian industry have to say.
October 2003 - Environmental technologies - the key to clean growth
The latest assessment from the European Environment Agency will raise many questions in the minds of the public and policy-makers, not least concerning economic growth, EU enlargement and sustainability. Michel Catinat,(1) in charge of environmental aspects of enterprise policy at the European Commission, notes that while business is successfully decoupling growth from environmental damage, it will be necessary to continue the effort, especially in waste and pollution caused by transport.
August 2003 - A critical tool
Euroabstracts wanted to go 'behind the scenes', to discover what motivates the Commission to undertake the substantial work involved in producing the ERSTI study, and to find out about the process of data collection and analysis. Our guide was Ugur Muldur, who heads the Competitiveness, Economic Analysis and Indicators unit of the Knowledge-based Society and Economy Directorate in the European Commission's Directorate-General for Research, responsible for preparing ERSTI.
June 2003 - Shaping our own tomorrow
By reorganising the research system and fostering international R&D co-operation, Greece aims to play an active role in the EU, contributing to human progress and social growth. During the first half of 2003, the Greek EU Presidency has taken some important steps in broadening and deepening the European Research and Innovation Area. Significant achievements are the adoption of a common political approach to the Community Patent and improved science and technology co-operation in south-eastern Europe. Dimitris Deniozos, General Secretary for Research and Technology, presents the priorities of the Greek R&D policy and the initiatives of the Greek Presidency.
April 2003 - Enterprise is beautiful
The Lisbon summit in 2000 committed the European Union to become the world's most dynamic, knowledge-based economy by 2010. Putting this into action has hit more than a few problems. David White, Director of Enterprise Policy at Enterprise DG, explains how these are being tackled.
- February 2003 - Broadening the approach to innovation
The European Commission will shortly adopt a new Communication on innovation policy. With the importance of innovation as an objective of research policies now widely recognised across Europe, the next step in Union policy is expected to widen the scope to other policies. The drive to develop European competitiveness requires innovation to be integrated throughout policy at European, national and regional levels. Edward Phillips, deputy head of the Commission's Innovation Policy Unit, which is drafting the new Communication, outlines the evolution in policy.
- December 2002 - Research - driving the economy
Denmark, currently presiding the European Union, has one of the world's most modern economies and is a leader in pharmaceutics and biotechnology. It also has one of the most sophisticated populations in its use of communication technologies. Yet to boost its economy the Danish government recognises that it needs to strengthen its research focus and increase use of ICT in society as a whole. Stein Larsen, acting head of secretariat at the Danish Council for Research Policy, explains Denmark's new direction in research policy.
- October 2002 - The next step towards a free market for knowledge, science and innovation
- Five years - the length of the Sixth Framework Programme - is not a long time in science. But what will follow FP6? Euroabstracts asked EU Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin. His answer: "ERA represents our long-term vision for European research, FP6 is more of a catalyst and mid-term tool to get the process started and get the heavy machine of EU research moving."
- August 2002 - Looking at SMEs from all sides
- The Observatory of European SMEs, established and funded by the European Commission, has been reporting on Europe's SMEs for nine years. Now, to get its message over, it has abandoned generic annual reporting in favour of a series of thematic reports that enable policy-makers to better understand how SMEs operate and how they differ in member states. Rob van der Horst, project director of the Observatory, talks to Euroabstracts.
- June 2002 - Advice on taking advice
- The European Commission is soon to publish a set of guidelines on expert advice to follow up last year's white paper on European governance. Rainer Gerold, who heads the Science and Society Directorate of the European Commission's Research DG, explains how they could increase the influence and transparency of scientific advice - and thus improve the Commission's decision-making.
- April 2002 - Spain tackles the European paradox
- The Spanish government has made great strides in reforming its national policies for the support of innovation. Now holding the presidency of the European Union, Spain is promoting its concept of a European Research and Innovation Area alongside the Sixth Framework Programme. Euroabstracts talked to Dr Arturo González Romero, Director General of Technology Policy in the Ministry of Science and Technology, about how the 'European paradox'- the gap between academic research and industrial innovation - should be addressed.
- February 2002 - Vertical segregation, subtle discrimination
- Nicole Dewandre, who heads the European Commission's Women and Science Unit, explains how women in scientific research are being empowered in the face of continuing gender discrimination. She reminds us that discrimination today is still pervasive and continues to damage women's careers - but now it has become an elusive beast, hard to pin down.
December 2001 - Small business - big ideas
- Being Europe's de facto capital is not an economic vocation in its own right. Although it has an awful lot going for it as a location for the service sector, Brussels needs to stay diverse. André Dewint, head of the regional research and innovation directorate, is the man charged with turning the city's considerable academic prowess into industrial reality. As a member of CREST, the EU's Scientific and Technical Research Committee, he sees things from the European level too.
- October 2001 - Europe sticks to its science
- The world's climate is an area where science and politics have become too closely entangled. Dr Anver Ghazi, Head of Unit at the Research DG responsible for research into climate change, gives us his views on what went right for Europe at the Bonn climate conference, the strength of global collaboration on climate research, and what he believes the key issues to be pursued now are.
August 2001 - Genomics: the key to future life
- European genome research to date has led to some significant scientific advances in biotechnology. These are resulting in a range of benefits to humanity, the most obvious being a more stable and healthier food supply. European laboratories have also been active in the worldwide effort to unravel the mystery of the human genetic code. Under the proposals for the next framework programme, both aspects of genomics are brought to bear on the issue of human health.
- June 2001 - eContent: connecting worlds
- Launched in March, the European Commission's 100 million eContent programme is an integral part of the eEurope initiative. Euroabstracts spoke to Commissioner Erkki Liikanen on how the new programme aims to stimulate Europe's content industry in the digital age.
- April 2001 - Ideas on the move
- Human resources are being given an ever larger place in Europe's science policy. The budget proposed for the training and mobility of researchers in the next Framework Programme is twice that in the current one. It is also proposed to knock down some of the walls dividing European Union research from the rest of the world. Euroabstracts asked Jocelyne Gaudin, who heads the Research DG's mobility unit, why human resources are getting so much attention.
- February 2001 - Giving innovation policy an identity
- Sweden assumed the Presidency of the EU Council of Ministers on 1st January. During its tenure, negotiations will shape the structure of the Sixth Framework Programme, which will take us till 2006. How will Sweden influence the outcome? Euroabstracts talked to Göran Marklund, head of the Innovation Systems division of Vinnova, the newly-established Swedish Agency for Innovations Systems. At home, Sweden is adopting a more focused policy on innovation,he says. And many of the new ideas spring from involvement in EU research.
- December 2000 - A new way of innovating
- At the Lisbon Council in March, the EU adopted the 'open co-ordination' approach to policy-making, whereby experience throughout the Member States is set out as a series of 'benchmarks' from which everybody can learn. One of the first areas in which it has been applied is innovation, in the form of the European Trend Chart on Innovation. The Enterprise DG's manager for the Trend Chart project, Peter Löwe, sees the benchmarking process as perhaps heralding the birth of a European model of policy-making.
- August 2000 - From top-down to bottom-up
- On 1st July 2000 France took over the presidency of the European Union. Hitherto renowned for its hands-on approach, particularly in the major areas of technological development, it is today giving priority to networking and spin-offs from innovative SMEs. Marie Deketelaere, who handles European technological affairs for the French ministry of the economy, finance and industry, explains that this does not deter France from its ambition to bring greater momentum to European research and innovation.
- June 2000 - Rich opportunities in multimedia content
- The multimedia content industry is now worth five per cent of Europe's GDP - more than telecommunications, hardware and software put together. Yet Europe still lags behind the United States in this booming sector of the economy. Euroabstracts asked Frans de Bruïne(1), who heads Directorate D of the Commission's Information Society DG, to explain how the European Union is meeting the challenge of multimedia.
- April 2000 - A helping hand from the neighbours
- Small countries face a problem of scale when they have ambitions to do leading-edge research - a problem they can resolve through international co-operation. In this extract from an interview first published on the CORDIS Presidency website, the President of the EU's Research Council and Portuguese Science and Technology Minister, José Mariano Gago, points to Portugal's rapid conversion to international RTD projects, and the impulse they provided.
February 2000 - An enterprising approach
- The new-look European Commission has reorganised itself to bring its policy-making for large, small and new businesses under one roof - that of the new Directorate General for Enterprise. On the eve of his return to the private sector, Euroabstracts talked to the man who superintended the transformation, Acting Director General, Magnus Lemmel. He sketches out the Commission's plans to encourage more business start-ups, to cope with the EU's enlargement and the growth of electronic commerce, and to aid job creation and sustainable development.
- December 1999 - Adapt and survive
- "Increased life expectancy is one of the greatest triumphs of the twentieth century," says Peter Kind, who heads the Fifth Framework Programme's e190 million Key Action 6 on the ageing population and disabilities. Since the Second World War, average life expectancy in Europe has been increasing by two years per decade. Euroabstracts talked to him about what the European Commission is doing to ensure that long life also brings good health and happiness. (see Feature, same issue).
- October 1999 - Europe dares to look at the future
- Euroabstracts talks to Domingo Jiménez-Beltrán, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency (EEA), which compiled both the Dobrís Assessment and the Second Assessment. Europe has learnt some hard lessons already and is ready to be radical in the environmental arena, he says. (see Feature, same issue).
- August 1999 - Innovation in Finland
- Suddenly it seems that everyone is talking about Finland. It holds the European Presidency till the end of the millennium, and to kick off the year 2000, Helsinki is to be European City of Culture. Euroabstracts interviews Martti Mäenpää, Director General of Tekes, the National Technology Agency of Finland to find out how this small peripheral country has grown into a major European player. (see Feature, same issue).
- June 1999 - Aeronautics: On the up
- Aeronautics is a vital sector of European industry. Airbus has demonstrated that Europe can take the lead on the world stage. The need for the EU to invest in this key sector has been recognised by a major increase in funding as the Fifth RTD Framework Programme takes over from the Fourth. However, while technology is well advanced in the air, development on the ground is slower. Jack Metthey, Herbert von Bose and Doris Schröcker explain. (see Feature, same issue).
- April 1999 - Germany: Putting selling before science
- With some 370 technology transfer centres in Germany and abroad, the Stuttgart-based Steinbeis Foundation bridges the gap between the users and creators of science and technology - SMEs and academia. The foundation works strictly along market lines, opening and closing branches to match the demands of its 20,000 clients. So it knows where the bottlenecks are in technology transfer in Germany. Euroabstracts gets the views of Johann Löhn, Chairman of the Steinbeis-Stiftung and Commissioner for Technology Transfer to the government of Baden-Württemberg (see Feature, same issue).
- December 1998 - Opening Pandora's letterbox
- As part of the information revolution, electronic commerce will affect everybody. It promises consumers more choice, lower prices and new services. It offers businesses instant access to world-wide markets, and the opportunity to cut costs through collective action. But for governments it poses problems both ethical and financial: how can one police - or tax - a borderless activity? Can the industry resolve the issues on its own? Euroabstracts gets two views from the European Commission policy makers involved.(see Feature, same issue).
August 1998 - Building a platform for knowledge industries
- October 1998 - The path to a sustainable future
- In parallel with its economic success, Austria's research and innovation system has come a long way in recent years. And the country has a plan for the future. To find out where it is going and how, Euroabstracts interviewed Josef Mandl, Head of Division for Innovation and Technology Transfer at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs.(see Feature, same issue).
- Professor Jorma Routti, the man at the head of the European Commission's Directorate General XII, has an impressive track record in science as well as industry. Euroabstracts asked him what changes we can expect in the world of work as the knowledge society dawns, and what role European R&D will play. (see Feature, same issue).
- June 1998 - 'We must invest more in research'
- Euroabstracts talks to Jean Gabolde, Head of DG XII's Directorate AS, "Strategy and Co-ordination", which put the Second European Report on Science and Technology Indicators together (see Feature, same issue).
- April 1998 - Exploring the Grey Areas
- Dr. Michael Norton FRSC is the current Director of the United Kingdom's Parliament Office of Science and Technology (POST), which recently produced an analysis of the impact of the UK's 'Technology Foresight Programme' (see Feature, same issue).