Brussels/Prague: The Czech EUREKA Chairmanship together with the EUREKA Network has published a report entitled “EUREKA – A cornerstone of the European research and innovation area”. The report highlights the complementarities that exist between the EUREKA Initiative and the Framework Programmes for Research Technological Development and Demonstration of the European Union. Launched in 1985, the EUREKA Initiative’s primary objective is “to raise, through closer cooperation among enterprises and research institutes in the field of advanced technologies, the productivity and competitiveness of Europe’s industries and national economies on the world market” . With reference to the March 2006 European Council in Brussels and subsequent high level meetings this year, the EUREKA report stresses the importance of Member State support for cooperation between EUREKA and all related R&D and Innovation programmes. In particular, support for SMEs (the Eurostars programme) and for collaboration between EUREKA Clusters and Joint Technology Platforms (JTIs) is needed to bring Europe closer to achieving the goals established in Lisbon in 2000. A number of suggestions on how EUREKA and the Framework Programme can cooperate in collaborative R&D and how they can move forward towards achieving common objectives is presented in the report. The report recommendations are a result of a consultation with Members of the European Parliament, Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), industry representatives, as well as the EUREKA Member states. “EUREKA, has provided considerable support for European Innovation over the last 20 years. I feel this report can make a useful contribution to EU competitiveness within the context of the discussions at the European Spring Council and subsequent formal and informal meetings this year,” said Avril Doyle MEP in her foreword to the report. The current debate on the re-launch of the Lisbon Strategy highlights, amongst other issues, the need for European industrialists to locate R&D and production in Europe and for researchers to remain in Europe. In this context, EUREKA and the Framework Programme make a vital contribution to European competitiveness.
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