Brussels, 23 Feb 2006
The meeting was chaired by Mr Richard ESCRITT (European Commission, DG Research, Director).
1. ADOPTION OF THE DRAFT AGENDA
The Committee adopted the agenda as set out in communication CM 151/06 of 13 January 2006.
2. APPROVAL OF THE DRAFT SUMMARY CONCLUSIONS OF THE 305th MEETING OF 5 DECEMBER 2005
The Committee approved the summary conclusions set out in doc. CREST 1209/05 .
3. INFORMATION FROM THE PRESIDENCY AND THE COMMISSION
a) Mr SEISER (AT Presidency) informed the Committee on:
- progress concerning the negotiations taking place in the Council Research Working Party on the proposals for the specific programmes of the 7th Framework Programme;
- the procedure concerning the Key Issues Paper (Research issues), which will serve as the input from the Competitiveness Council to the Spring European Council in March;
- a number of research-related conferences and similar events to be held under Austrian Presidency, in particular:
= a Senior Officials Meeting on EU-Latin America and Caribbean partnership (1-3 February, Salzburg)
= a European Conference on Security Research (20-21 February, Vienna)
= a Conference on European Technology Platforms (4-5 May, Vienna)
= the conference "Improving research policies in Europe through the Open Method of coordination (18 May)
b) Mr ESCRITT and Mrs DE LA TORRE (Commission services) informed the Committee on:
- the next steps regarding the Interinstitutional Agreement on the financial perspectives (2007-2013); in this context the Commission services will prepare, as soon as possible, a breakdown of the proposed budgetary figures into the different policy areas and programmes;
- the proposal for the rules for participation in the Euratom programme which should be available by the beginning of February;
- the Commission Communications on the role of universities and on the European Institute of Technology, both scheduled for mid-February 2006.
4. HAMPTON COURT FOLLOW-UP ON R&D
Mr GEORGHIOU (University of Manchester) presented the report of the independent expert group on R&D and innovation chaired by Mr AHO and appointed by the Commission following the Hampton Court Summit.
The following issues raised by the report were underlined:
- underinvestment in R&D in several European countries, reflected by insufficient productivity growth compared to other competitors on the global scale;
- the need for further initiatives to create an innovation-friendly market environment;
- the importance of encouraging the mobility of human resources for research and innovation, as well as of financial resources (venture capital) and the need to support certain types of regional agglomerations (e.g. clustering);
- the need for large-scale strategic actions, for example in the areas of eHealth, environment, energy, transport and logistics;
- the suggestion of appointing a high level coordinator for better liaison between R&D performers, regulators, users and sectoral stakeholders.
In their comments to the report, delegations focused, inter alia, on the following:
- the need to stress the role of basic research for a knowledge-based society;
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