Report on the Commission's discussions with business leaders on the European Institute of Technology and the Role of the Business Sector in Education, Science and Innovation

September 11, 2006

Brussels, 8 September 2006

A meeting of business leaders was held in Brussels on 7 September at the initiative of the President of the Commission José Manuel Barroso.. Representatives from some of the most R&D-intensive European enterprises in key technology sectors, as well as major business organisations, agreed to take part in the meeting organised by the European Commission's Bureau of European Policy Advisers (BEPA). Vice President Verheugen, Commissioners Figel' and Kroes also attended the meeting, which focused on the role of the business sector in education, science and innovation in Europe, linked to the Commission's flagship project, the European Institute of Technology.

As President Barroso observed, “Europe is wasting some of its potential for excellence. We do not sufficiently combine our efforts in education, research and business and the fragmentation of the research efforts do not allow the reduction of the gap between knowledge and innovation”.

How can this fragmentation be overcome? What needs to be done to improve the relationship between education, research and innovation and their contribution to economic growth, employment and social cohesion? These were just two of the questions that the business leaders have been considering at the meeting.

The representatives of business and industry gave their overall support to the EIT proposal. They emphasized the importance to strengthen Europe's competitiveness by linking research, education and innovation in the Knowledge Triangle. They further believed that the EIT would contribute to the European economic growth and the creation of more and better jobs.

The meeting took place during two days of public consultation on the EIT with stakeholders and Member States in Brussels.
More information on the Commission’s plan:
and IP(06)751 + MEMO(06)233

Annex: List of participants

EIT Meeting

List of Participants

  • Mr. Reinhold ACHATZ, Corporate Vice President and Head of Division at Corporate Technology of Siemens
  • Dr. Günter A. BAUMANN, Vice President of the Deutscher Industrie- und Handelskammer (DIHK)
  • Mr. Jean-Philippe COURTOIS, President of Microsoft International and Senior Vice President of Microsoft Corp.
  • Dr. Annette DOHERTY, Senior Vice President, Pfizer Global Research and Development and Site Director, Sandwich Laboratories
  • Mr. David DUNCAN, Head of Global Research and Development, Unilever
  • Mr. Bo EKMAN, Chairman of Nextwork AB, Founder and Chairman of the Tällberg Foundation
  • Mr.. François GUINOT, Président de l'Académie des Technologies
  • Dr. Heinrich HÖFER, Director of Technology and Innovation Dept. of the Federation of German Industries (BDI)
  • Dr. Bob IANNUCCI, Senior Vice President, Head of Nokia Research Centre
  • Dr. Steven KOONIN, Chief Scientist, BP PLC
  • Mr. Magnus MADFORS, Director R&D Policy, Ericsson European Affairs Office
  • Mr. Jan VAN DER EIJK, Chief Technology Officer of Royal Dutch Shell
  • Prof. Dr. Walter Ch. ZIMMERLI, Founding President of the Volkswagen Auto University

Item source: IP/06/1164 Date: 08/09/2006

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