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Brussels, 16 February 2009

Brussels Debates of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009 (EYCI 2009) take off

"Boosting Europe’s knowledge economy" is the topic of the first Brussels debate of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009. It will focus on the knowledge society and on how Europe’s creative potential can be channelled towards finding innovative solutions, products and services that can foster economic growth. A special focus will be placed on the nascent European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT).

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

The European Commission, together with the European Policy Centre (EPC), will be hosting a series of six thematic “Brussels Debates” throughout the 2009 European Year. The series of Brussels Debates provides a platform for reflection and exchange of ideas and contribute to policy discussion on creativity and innovation.

The first Brussels Debate takes place on 16 February at 18:00 in the Residence Palace and will be opened by European Commissioner Ján Figel'.

The first Brussels Debate will focus on the knowledge economy under the heading, “Boosting Europe’s knowledge economy". In the current climate of economic crisis, it is crucial to enable creativity and innovation to thrive so that new and innovative solutions to our problems can emerge. Fostering creativity and innovation contributes to the wealth and diversity of Europe’s culture, as well as to creating new opportunities for economic growth. European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, Ján Figel', will take the floor, as well as MEP Reino Paasilinna. Speakers include also Martin Schuurmans, Chairman of the Governing Board of the European Institute for Innovation and Technology, Bengt-Åke Lundvall, Professor at the Department of Business Studies, Aalborg University, Denmark, Jan Muehlfeit, Chairman Europe, Microsoft Corporation, Maria João Rodrigues, Professor of Economics, University of Lisbon, and Hans Martens, Chief Executive of European Policy Centre.

The subsequent Debates will shift the spotlight towards other topics, such as education, the public sector, sustainable development, cultural diversity and creative arts and industries.

The Debates take place in the Polak Room at the Residence Palace, 155 Rue de la Loi, Brussels. Each debate will be followed by a reception to enable the discussions to continue in another form. Please confirm your participation replying to this e-mail:

More Information:

Official website of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation:

More about the Brussels Debate:

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