In an opinion of 27 November 1991 on the Commission communication "Industrial policy in an open and competitive environment" (COM(90) 556 of 16.11.1990) the ESC firstly considers the stages of the industrialpolicy debate since 1970, noting that the renewed effort made by the Commission in 1981 to establish a future-oriented and comprehensive industrial policy ("The development of industry in Europe: A Community strategy", COM(81) 639) met with poor response. The Committee therefore welcomes the latest communication, which attempts to develop the concept of a modern and dynamic industrial policy based on: - An optimum allocation of the factors of production by market forces; - Swifter structural adjustment; - Greater economic competitiveness in Europe; - The establishment of a platform for long-term industrial and technological development. With regard to technological competitiveness, the ESC agrees that this plays a key role and emphasizes that measures for enhancing competitiveness should not be confined to high-tec sectors but must also address broadly based technologies. Support for the Community's technologies is vital, especially where pre-competitive research and the transfer of technology to small and medium-sized firms and less developed regions are involved. However, the principle of subsidiarity must be retained in the field of research policy, and Community support channelled into areas where national funds do not suffice or the Community can reap clear benefits. In addition, priority must continue to be given to corporate responsibility for R&D. Among other subjects discussed in the 15-page opinion are the environment, European standards and product quality, trans-European networks, education, the information technology and electronics industry, and biotechnology (considering the latter to be of strategic importance, the ESC reserves the right to issue a separate opinion on this subject).