Some 60 industrialists from large and small European companies, together with representatives of industry organisations and the European Investment Bank took part in the event, organised by the EUREKA Dutch Chair at Schiphol. Lively debate clearly illustrated the value European business places on the bottom-up, non-bureaucratic, flexible and near-to-market character of EUREKA.
However, the final statement insisted on the need for European governments to reinforce their commitment to competitiveness and growth by appropriate budgetary priorities for public and private funding of research at EU and national level.
"We are at the crossroads for a more competitive and innovative Europe," said Chris Buijink, of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, in his opening remarks. "We need to determine what support this needs from government. We need a better balance between fundamental science and innovation at European level in the research Framework Programme. And we need to improve EUREKA."
The final industry statement welcomed the outcome of the recent Inter-Parliamentary Conference in favour of EUREKA. However, it stressed the need for large and small firms to be considered as part of the same industrial ecosystem and that support should not be segregated. It also favoured the extension of public support to demonstration projects to fill the gap between R&D and the market place.
However, without demonstrated financial and other commitments to improving the European landscape for research and innovation, the statement warned, it is sadly inevitable that R&D activities will move to other parts of the world.
COMPAMED.de; Source: EUREKA