Spain continues to push for European research and innovation area

May 9, 2002

Brussels, 08 May 2002

Spain is continuing to promote the idea of a European research and innovation area as a way to address the gap between academic research and industrial innovation, Dr Arturo González Romero, Director General of technology policy at the Spanish Ministry of science and technology has said.

Speaking to Euroabstracts, a publication funded by the Innovation and SMEs sub-section of the Commission's Fifth Framework programme, Dr González Romero said that the EU must transform the European research area (ERA) into a European research and innovation area.

'The EU has a long experience of the Framework programme and has learned from its earlier versions. Now we're trying to address what has been called the 'European paradox', that is, trying to make good the European weakness in transforming research of the highest standard into industrial development and this, in turn, into commercial results,' said González Romero. 'Innovation is a key component of the technological policies of the countries of the Union,' he added.

Spain itself has recently transformed its own R&D (research and development) plan into the plan for research, development and innovation, whilst introducing tax incentives for innovation, which were previously restricted to R&D.

Research must also be brought into line with activities with a greater future if the European paradox is to be effectively addressed, argues Dr González Romero. Public and private investments in telecommunications, the environment and biotechnology will help the EU to overcome the belief that 'Europe is very good at turning euros into research, but poor at turning research into euros,' said Dr González Romero.

He calls for yet further R&D investment however, both from the public and the private sector, and for the creation of more powerful financial support tools. Spain has also changed its national policy in this field, abolishing non-repayable grants for technology financing in favour of loans.

To see the full interview, please consult the following web address: pril02/feature01.htm

CORDIS RTD-NEWS/© European Communities, 2001

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