Nieuws-items bij EU 2020-strategie
12-06EP neemt voorstel Comité van de Regio's voor 1 miljard aan extra steun aan (en)
11-06Sleutelrol voor middelgrote bedrijven bij het creëren van economische groei en werkgelegenheid (en)
10-06Toespraak Van Rompuy over de grootste obstakels in energiebeleid (en)
07-06Conferentie over EU-steun voor leertijd- en stageregeling (en)
06-06Barroso besprak aanpak crisis met Comité van de Regio's (en)
06-06De crisis het hoofd bieden door verenigde kracht (en)
06-06Barroso en Valcárcel eensgezind: samen uit de crisis (en)
31-05Comité van de Regio's: integreer cultuur in de EU 2020-strategie (en)
13-05MEMO: Actieplan voor Atlantische Oceaan (en)
30-04EU intensiveert samenwerking wetenschap en bedrijfsleven bij kerntechnologieën van toekomst (en)
29-04Commissie steunt initiatief dat toepassen van wetenschappelijk onderzoek moet verbeteren (en)
29-04Gendergelijkheid op het werk centraal in EU-doelstellingen voor economische groei (en)
27-04Innovatie blijft toenemen in EU maar verschillen tussen landen nemen toe (en)
26-04Regionale innovatieprogramma's moeten maatwerk worden voor slimme regio's (en)
26-04Video viEUws.eu: Brusselse update over energie, april 2013 (en)
23-04Europees midden- en kleinbedrijf 2013: innovatie vormt een zakelijke kans (en)
11-04Minder schoolverlaters, meer jongeren naar vervolgopleiding - jongens blijven zwaar achter (en)
04-04Online raadpleging over klimaatverandering en energiedoelstellingen na 2020 (en)
26-03Innovatie per lidstaat uitgewerkt (en)
26-03Meer inzet nodig voor innovatie (en)
Today we are all very conscious of a Europe that is confronted with austerity. Although our problems are very serious and very real, I am convinced that Europe has the talent and the determination to create a better future. Innovation is playing a key role in creating that future.
Let me present three people who have demonstrated the great potential for innovation that we find among us: Stelios Haji-Ioannou, who set up the EasyJet airline; Mike Lazaridis, the founder of Blackberry manufacturer Research In Motion; and Nicolas Negroponte, the founder of MIT’s Media Lab and the One Laptop per Child association.
They are but three examples of inspiring innovators of Greek origin who have used cutting-edge technology or new ways of working and problem-solving to create change. I hope that Greece will produce many more innovators and that they will contribute to reviving Greece's economy.
Europe faces a debt crisis, but above all: a growth crisis. Europe 2020 - Europe’s strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth - is not about short term austerity measures, but about growth in the longer term. Yes, we need to get our fiscal policy back on the right track and at the same time we need to regain lost competitiveness. The best way of achieving this is by putting research and innovation policy at the heart of Europe's fight for jobs and prosperity.
That is why I am honoured to be here at the Transport Research Arena in Athens. This is a very suitable occasion to underline the importance of research and innovation for our recovery. I believe that a focus on research and innovation that links societal challenges, competitiveness and scientific excellence is essential for our future growth.
In fact, some of the most wonderful examples of how innovation can lead to growth come from the transport sector: from the first introduction of the propeller-driven ship, to innovative production methods such as the conveyor belt and just-in-time delivery.
Our future depends on competitive industries that are able to create jobs. This means investing in research, in new technologies and in creating a climate that boosts innovation. Europe 2020 sets a clear goal of investing 3% of GDP in research and innovation by 2020. Many Member States, however, still have some way to go.
This February, the Innovation Scoreboard 2011 was published, showing the state of innovation in the EU Member States. The good news is that almost all countries have improved their innovation performance. Overall, however, the EU is still not closing the persistent gap with global innovation leaders such as the US, Japan and South Korea.
The largest gap for Europe remains in terms of private sector innovation. Countries at the top of the Innovation Scoreboard ranking show high levels of business investment in research, and lots of public-private collaboration. Europe's top innovators also score highly in the commercialisation of their technological knowledge.
Moderate innovators, like our host country Greece, often display excellent academic performance. However, this research knowledge is not being valorised. Why is this? Well, the links between universities and industry are few and weak in nature. The corporate world invests little in R&D (a mere 0.18% in Greece in 2009, for example), and low- and medium-tech industries remain the most prominent sectors.
Europe’s leading knowledge and innovation economies are weathering the economic crisis better. Indeed, there was a strong correlation between the economic rebound of Member States in 2010 and their average level of R&D investments over the period 2004-2009. The rule seems to be: the higher the average R&D intensity in the past, the better the economic growth today.
But it's not just a question of increasing investment. We must in parallel increase the quality of our research systems and increase the impact of research and innovation on growth and jobs. We need to do this at national and at EU level - investment in research and innovation must be accompanied by reform of our research and innovation systems.
So what has the EU been doing to this end? Let me elaborate on two major policy actions: Innovation Union and Horizon 2020.
Innovation Union, which was launched in October 2010, contains a series of commitments to improve the basic conditions that allow researchers, entrepreneurs and companies to flourish. We will remove any obstacles that prevent innovators from transforming the excellent basic research that Europe does so well into new products and services that will be successful in world markets.
To reach these goals, we need, for example, faster standard-setting in Europe, cheaper and easier patenting, more public procurement of innovative products and services and better access to venture capital.
We have made specific commitments in Innovation Union on how to achieve these objectives within clearly defined timescales. I am pleased to say that according to the State of the Innovation Union 2011 report published last December, we have made excellent progress in implementing Innovation Union's 34 different commitments.
Innovation Union demands actions and reforms from all kinds of people and institutions: governments, big business, SMEs, researchers, universities, the public sector, and many more. But we are also taking action and implementing reforms at European level. For this, let’s look at Horizon 2020 - the next framework programme for European research and innovation funding. From 2014 onwards, it will make our support for research and innovation simpler, more efficient, and more effective at delivering the bigger impacts needed to sustain growth and tackle societal challenges such as climate change and energy security. Horizon 2020 aims to strike the right balance between supporting scientific excellence, boosting industrial competitiveness and finding answers to societal challenges.
These societal challenges are especially relevant to transport. For example, Europe wants to achieve a 60% reduction of CO2 emissions by 2050, with transport accounting for as much as a quarter of current emissions. We also want to halve the use of conventionally-fuelled cars in cities and achieve virtually CO2-free city logistics in major urban centres by 2030. This cannot be achieved without major changes in the transport sector. So transport is one of the six main societal challenges tackled under Horizon 2020.
Transport research in Horizon 2020 will address transport as an integrated system, like you are doing here at TRA. And we will take account of the specific characteristics of the different modes of transport that will help achieve technological breakthroughs. We are proposing that research focuses on four topics:
1.Resource efficient transport - this will include actions to improve traditional engines on the one hand, and on the other hand, the introduction of alternative fuels and energy sources;
2.Better mobility, less congestion, more safety and security - this is where we expect cross-overs between different transport modes;
3.Global leadership for the European transport industry; and,
4.Forward-looking activities to feed into future policy-making.
With the demand for mobility increasing world wide - the number of cars will almost double by 2030 - these priorities respond to a global need for greater sustainability. Just look at China, where the target for the number of green vehicles is set to increase from 100,000 today to 5 million by 2020, to reduce pollution and reliance on oil imports.
As a result, investing in innovation in the field of sustainable transport offers European companies a huge commercial opportunity.
The environmental technologies market is growing. Worth 1.2 trillion Euro in 2007, it is expected to reach 3.1 trillion Euro by 2020. Products and services related to sustainable mobility will represent a global market of 300 billion Euro in 2020, up from 200 billion Euro today.
Europe is already a leader in many areas, including high speed rail, power-efficient trains and intelligent transport systems. But we are lagging behind our competitors in other crucial areas. For example, Asia is ahead of us in battery technology and Japanese manufacturers are leading the field in hybrid cars. We have to stay strong where we are already successful and catch up where needed.
Actions to stimulate market uptake, and large-scale research and demonstration projects will be an important feature of Horizon 2020. Considering the importance of partnerships and cross-overs for successful innovation, building links between the Commission and private actors, as well as with policy-makers and other public sector organisations will be key.
Some of our biggest challenges include introducing new technologies on the market, creating the right financial conditions and achieving technical harmonisation.
Fortunately, we can rely on two decades of experience in supporting European research. I am confident that building on this experience, Horizon 2020 can make a clear contribution to Europe 2020’s goals of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
Let me give you some examples of what your sector has already achieved with European support.
Since 2008, the European Green Cars Initiative has been dedicated to speeding up the introduction of electric cars on our roads. For the first time, we see clear common prioritisation in the research agendas of European competitors, avoiding a piecemeal or fragmented approach to preparing new technologies for the market. Participants in this project tell us that they are getting excellent outcomes. The focus is on low-carbon technologies and in particular on the electrification of road transport vehicles. This will help Europe to maintain a leading edge in low-emission engine technologies.
Another example of how we are already exploring the introduction of new technologies is Citymobil, which is running pilot projects across the continent to introduce new types of urban vehicles into cities. These tests demonstrate convincingly that new types of urban vehicles are technically possible and that we can overcome practical or behavioural obstacles to their introduction. In fact, Heathrow Airport introduced driverless pods between the car park and Terminal 5 following the work done by this project.
As regards standardisation, the European rail industry offers plenty of examples. Over the years, there have been many joint efforts to more or less dismantle trains and redesign the components from scratch, this time using common modules. This saves money in production and maintenance, but it also facilitates the cross-border operation of rolling stock. Some of the work that has been done is now influencing standardisation bodies and regulations.
I think these are excellent examples of how Europe is helping reinforce the links in the innovation chain - from the drawing board to delivery, from lab to market.
One area in which Greece is particularly strong is the maritime sector. Here, let me wrap up by introducing you to a fourth innovator, another Greek and one of many who excel in this field, Apostolos Papanikolaou. He has been partnering with shipyards from Spain to Finland and with research labs all across Europe from the early days of the Framework Programmes for Research.
He is only the second non-US citizen in over fifty years to receive the prestigious Davidson Medal from the US Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. “It is very much also an award for European research”, he says, “because my work - including its current continuation - is largely made possible by the European Union’s support, including the contacts and the wider area of application.”
It is a real honour to share some of the credit.
While Europe 2020 sets our goals for the future, Innovation Union and Horizon 2020 create favourable conditions for excellent research.
Achieving sustainable growth depends as much on national investment as on individual academic and entrepreneurial achievements. I have given you a handful of examples of innovative people in this speech - people like you here today.
With the right financial and structural incentives, and with a commitment to work together, I know that you and other researchers and innovators will flourish, and Europe with them.