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Brussels, 27th May 2010

Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn to visit Washington for talks with top US Research, Innovation and Science policymakers

Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn will visit Washington from 27 May-1 June, on her first trip outside the EU since entering office. She will meet key figures in the US Administration and Congress, including Dr John P. Holdren, the leading science advisor to President Obama, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, and Chair of US Congress House Science and Technology Committee, Bart Gordon. She will also make keynote speeches to high-level business and stakeholder audiences at the European-American Business Council (EABC) and the European Institute. Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn has made clear from day one of her mandate that she attaches very high importance to the EU's relationship with the US, Europe's biggest science and technology partner.

The visit has four priority objectives:

First, to build lasting personal contacts with the top research, innovation and science policymakers in the US in order to work with them to deepen partnership and take forward the EU/US shared global agenda on science and technology issues;

Second, to listen and learn from the US side on the well-established US "innovation culture" and how it is achieved, as part of the process of preparing the Research and Innovation Strategy for Europe. The Strategy will be announced by the Commissioner in the autumn and submitted to EU Heads of State and Government ;

Third, to pass a positive message to the Commissioner's US counterparts and to stakeholders that "things are moving in Europe" on the EU's Europe 2020 Strategy in general and on research and innovation in particular. Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn will reiterate President Barroso's message that research and innovation are at the top of the European political agenda, as the key to creating lasting jobs and a sustainable social market economy. She will remind her US interlocutors that the EU is "open for business" and add that the competitiveness agenda under Europe 2020 should contribute to new transatlantic investment and trade opportunities in both directions;

Fourth, to lay the foundations for further progress on working with the US on research, innovation and science issues, in order to tackle "grand global challenges" such as climate change, food and energy security, health and an ageing society. She will explore with her counterparts where the US and Europe can work even more closely together to "collaborate to compete", through cooperation in specific concrete areas, notably the Transatlantic Innovation Dialogue, research infrastructures and energy research.

The highlights of the Commissioner's programme are as follows:

27 May 2010

  • Meeting with Dr. John Holdren, Advisor to President Obama for Science and Technology, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and co-chair of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).

  • Dinner with business leaders and stakeholders, hosted by Acting Head of European Commission Delegation Office in Washington Angelos Pangratis

28 May 2010

  • Visit to Honeywell’s Technology Centre, Washington DC.

  • Meeting with Dr Charles Vest, President of the National Academy of Engineering and President Emeritus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Roundtable hosted by the European-American Business Council

  • Lunch speech: "Innovation, Investment and Growth".

The European-American Business Council (EABC) is a transatlantic alliance of major US and EU-based global companies.

1 June 2010

  • Meeting with Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke

  • Meeting with Secretary of Energy Steven Chu

  • Lunch hosted by the European Institute

  • Speech: "Tapping Research and Innovation for Growth and Jobs: Strengthening EU-U.S. Cooperation in the Fields of Research, Innovation and Science"

  • US Speaker: Rep. Bart Gordon, Chairman of the US Congress House Science and Technology Committee.

The European Institute is the leading Washington-based public-policy organization devoted to transatlantic affairs.

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