Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

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  • "Basic Research and Innovation in an Enlarged Europe", FET FP7 Workshop on "New Directions for ICTs in FP7: Grand challenges for basic research"


The triptych Research - Innovation - Education is vital to the future economic growth and the sustainable development, in the Member States and in the Acceding and Candidate Countries. It is central to realising the Lisbon 2000 agenda to "make Europe the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010".
During these last four years undeniable progress has been achieved in many areas towards the Lisbon goals. Knowledge Society, also known as Information Society, is rapidly becoming a reality in Europe stimulated by the eEurope initiative and Action Plan. This can be seen for example in the rapid uptake of broadband Internet, both fixed and mobile.
Despite considerable advances, four years after Lisbon the overall picture is still a mixed one. Europe is stuck between the US and the catching-up Asia.
The biggest gap between the United States and Europe can be seen in the resources available for private research. The relative weakness of private sector investment in R&D within the Union is striking. An aggravating factor is that European companies invest more per year in research carried out in the United States than US companies invest in Europe.
A vigorous response is needed and a sense of urgency has to develop if the Lisbon objective is to become more than a catch phrase or a cliché for politicians. In the last European Council of late March (25 & 26 March, Brussels), the Heads of EU Governments reaffirmed their determination to exploit the growth potential of Europe. Increasing the R&D efforts to reach 3 Percent of GDP, the so-called Barcelona objective, is one of the main priorities.

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