25 October 2005

European research needs a wake-up call, says EU

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Not just industrial jobs are under threat from China, India and other emerging economies, but also jobs in knowledge-based industries as these countries combine growth in low-skill, low-wage manufacturing with an expanding presence in innovative, hi-tech sectors.

This was the warning in two EU reports presented yesterday.

In the words of Janez Potočnik, the European Commissioner for Science and Research:

“[Our research] shows worrying trends in R&D investment and innovation in Europe. The growth rate of R&D intensity, i.e. R&D expenditure as percentage of GDP, has been declining since 2000. It is now close to zero.

I am afraid that Europe is on track to miss the objective it set itself to boost spending on R&D from 1,9 to 3% by 2010. And the most worrying conclusion of the key figures is that Europe is becoming a less attractive place to carry out research.

I am convinced that Europe needs a wake-up call. If the current trends continue, Europe will lose the opportunity to become a leading global knowledge-based economy.”

Read story in The Guardian
Read Potočnik speech
Download various related documents

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