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IP/09/1702

Brussels, 12 November 2009

Manifesto for Creativity and Innovation in Europe

The "Manifesto for Creativity and Innovation in Europe" is one of the key outcomes of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009. The document is the result of a collective work of the Ambassadors of the Year, who are leading European personalities from the fields of culture, science, business, education and design. With its 'Seven Commandments', the Manifesto will help shape the EU's strategy for promoting creativity and innovation for the next decade. The Ambassadors are handing the Manifesto over to Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso today at midday at a ceremony in the Commission's press room.

Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said: "Creators and innovators, whatever their field, share a vision of the future and of how to make it better than the past. Europe needs such vision more than ever as we seek to lead global efforts to recover from crisis and tackle climate change. So I warmly thank the Ambassadors for their Manifesto for Creativity and Innovation in Europe and I will ensure that their vision feeds in to the new Commission's strategy for EU 2020."

How can Europe be at the forefront of the new, globalised, intensely competitive and knowledge-based world of the 21st century? How can the creative and innovative potential of Europe be better used in education, research, culture, design, business and the workplace? How can public policy at the European and national levels foster creativity and innovation in these fields?

Leading European personalities from various backgrounds have reflected on these questions in their role as Ambassadors for the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009. The result of this collaborative work is the Manifesto for Creativity and Innovation in Europe. Through 7 priorities and 7 lines of action, the Manifesto brings a powerful impetus for change. It will help shape the European Union's vision of the role of creativity and innovation and feed into the Union's strategy for the decade 2010-2020.

The following Ambassadors have confirmed their presence at the handing-over ceremony:

  • Jean-Philippe Courtois (FR), president, Microsoft International

  • Jordi Savall (ES), musician and professor

  • Christine van Broeckhoven (BE), professor, molecular neuroscientist

  • Damini Kumar (IE), designer and inventor

  • Blanka Říhová (CZ), professor, microbiologist

  • Leonel Moura (PT), conceptual artist

  • Dominique Langevin (FR), professor, physicist

  • Edward de Bono (MT), author and international speaker on creativity and lateral thinking

  • Ernő Rubik (HU), professor, architect, designer

The Manifesto is presented by the Ambassadors to Commission President Barroso at 12:00 today during a press conference in the press room of Berlaymont. After the press conference, there will be an opportunity for one-on-one interviews with Mr. Maroš Šefčovič, the European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth and with the Ambassadors of the European Year.

The aim of the Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009 is to promote creative and innovative approaches in different sectors of human activity and contribute to better equip the European Union for the challenges ahead in a globalised world.

Official website of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation :

http://www.create2009.europa.eu

ANNEX

Ambassador profiles:

  • Jean-Philippe Courtois (FR)

One of the leading Europeans in the global technology industry. With over 25 years of industry experience, as president of Microsoft he leads now the company's international strategy and operations in over 200 countries around the world. Within Microsoft, he has championed the company-wide response on how to use software and services to achieve Europe’s Jobs and Growth Agenda.

  • Jordi Savall (ES)

Concert performer, teacher, researcher and creator of new projects, both musical and cultural. He is one of the principal architects of the current re-evaluation of historical music. For more than thirty years he has been devoted to the rediscovery of neglected musical treasures. He has brought recognition to the viola da gamba and to music from here and elsewhere that had fallen into oblivion.

  • Christine van Broeckhoven (BE)

Professor, molecular neuroscientist, a specialist in neurodegenerative brain diseases. Director of the Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Antwerpen. She is the holder of several awards, among them the L'Oréal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science.

  • Leonel Moura (PT)

Artist interested in both human and artificial creativity. He made several painting robots able to create their own art. One of these robots called RAP (Robotic Action Painter) is in permanent display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. He is the first in the world to build a Robotarium, which is a zoo for autonomous robots.

  • Damini Kumar (IE)

Designer, winner of the Young British Female of the Year Award (2001). She works with Women Into Science and Engineering to encourage girls into engineering and science. She gained a degree in mechanical engineering from Imperial College of London and an MSc Masters in Engineering Product Design from London's South Bank University.

  • Blanka Říhová (CZ)

Microbiologist, deputy director and head of Division Immunology and Genetic Biology at the Institute of Microbiology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. She has obtained her scientific degrees at the Charles University in Prague and at the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences.

  • Ernő Rubik (HU)

Inventor, sculptor and professor of architecture. He is best known for the invention of mechanical puzzles including Rubik's cube, Toy of the Year in 1980-1982 in several countries. He obtained his degree at the Budapest University of Technology, and the Hungarian University of Applied Arts (today: Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design).

  • Dominique Langevin (FR)

Physical chemist, director of research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) a specialist in foams and emulsions. Winner for Europe of the highly prestigious L’Oréal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science (2005). She obtained her degree in physics at the École Normale Supérieure, Sèvres.

  • Edward de Bono (MT)

Professor of psychology, and founder of the World Centre for New Thinking in Malta. He is the originator of lateral thinking which treats creativity as the behaviour of information in a self-organising information system - such as the neural networks in the brain. He graduated in Oxford from psychology and obtained a D. Phil. in medical research.


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