Brussels, 25 March 2009
The Ambassadors for the Year are prominent personalities who are committed to the aims of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009 and are helping to make it a success by taking part in various events organised throughout the Year. They are not only raising its visibility, but also helping to shape the debate by contributing insights from their respective fields of expertise.
The European Commission has proposed that creativity and innovation should be one of the pillars of future European cooperation on education and training. Building on the Ambassadors' experiences, the Commission would now like to explore with them how to create an environment in which creativity can flourish.
Mr Jack Martin Händler (Conductor), Miss Damini Kumar (Designer and inventor), Dr Dominique Langevin (Professor, physicist), Prof. Bengt-Åke Lundvall (Professor, researcher on innovation), Mr Radu Mihăileanu (Film director), Mr Leonel Moura (Conceptual artist), Prof. Dr. H.c. Erik Spiekermann (Professor, typography designer), Prof. Dr. Christine Van Broeckhoven (Professor, molecular neuroscientist), Prof. Dr.-Ing. Karlheinz Brandenburg (Professor, researcher in information and communication technology) will participate in the event. A full list of Ambassadors for the Year is available at http://www.create2009.europa.eu/ambassadors.html
During the first meeting of the Ambassadors in Prague on January 7 there was unanimous consensus that investment in education and in the skills and creative capacity of Europe should be the top priority of EU institutions and governments. It would be a fundamental mistake to cut spending on research and development and education in the context of the current crisis. Mr. Esko Aho cited the Finnish example of tackling the economic crisis of the 90s, overcome through increasing R&D spending and preserving spending in education. Individuals and communities should be at the core of strategic approaches to creativity and innovation, as Europe depends on its human capital, stated Mr. Radu Mihaileanu, while a stronger collaboration between business, universities and research centres and the public sector was brought up by several speakers. (Link to the conclusions of the first meeting: http://www.create2009.europa.eu)
This meeting of the Ambassadors for the Year is one of several events organised by the European Commission in the framework of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009 (EYCI). Since its European launch conference in Prague in January, the Year is well underway and has succeeded in catching the attention of both the European media and the public. The website www.create2009.europa.eu is the main tool of the information campaign.
The series of "Brussels Debates" is proving a popular forum for sharing ideas on innovation and creativity, especially among the Brussels-based stakeholder and policy-shaping community. The Debates will cover a wide range of topics connected to the Year and will provide a platform for reflection and exchange of ideas which can contribute to policy discussion on Creativity and Innovation. The first one on The knowledge society was held on 16 February and the next - on The Future of education in Europe - will take place on 30 March in the Residence Palace (metro Schuman). The subsequent Debates will shift the spotlight towards other topics, such as creativity and innovation in public services, sustainable development, cultural diversity and creative arts and industries.
Information on many other events associated with the Year is available on the web site: