Brussels, 4 September 2008
In search of the best strategies to boost Europe's leadership in ICT (Information and Communications Technology) research and innovation in the next decade, the European Commission today launched a public consultation. Contributions from industry, ICT experts, policy-makers and the wider public will be fed into a new strategy for ICT research and innovation, to be unveiled next year. The aim is to put European ICT industry, especially SMEs, to the fore of the race for global competitiveness. The public consultation is open until 7 November 2008.
"ICT is the primal force for innovation and development in the global economy, which is why Europe must attract investments in ICT research and development and the best minds and ideas. We also face challenges in energy, health and ageing that can only be tackled if we deploy ICT solutions," said Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media. "This consultation is the first step towards an integrated strategy for research and innovation in the ICT sector that I will put on the table early next year."
This consultation is part of the European Commission's response to the recent expert report headed by former Finnish Prime Minister Esko Aho (MEMO/08/430), which points out a number of key failings of ICT research and innovation in Europe. In particular, Europe is underperforming in both the level and intensity of its research and innovation investments: today, 33% of research and innovation in developed economies worldwide is in ICT, while in Europe it accounts for less than 25%, mainly because it is highly fragmented. Furthermore, the EU represents 32% of the global ICT market, but European firms only take up 22% of the global market.
The European Commission plans to respond to these challenges through a "no holds barred" review of its ICT research and innovation strategy. The consultation asks three main questions:
The Commission's public consultation document can be found on: