Saturday, 3 March 2012

Innovation Union: EU R&D Updates and Competitiveness

Innovation Union  was created under the Europe 2020 Strategy and functions as a part of the Communication Unit of the EU Commission's Research & Innovation DG.

The latest science-related news, events and projects in the EU countries can be explored by accessing Innovation Union press roomkey documents and videos. Alternatively, IU updates can be followed on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

I recently noticed that a freely downloadable science fiction book was published on the website. Robert Billing's Tales From the Future  consists of four short stories in the fields on healthcare, food  science, energy & transport and climate change. To highlight the current progress in the EU, innovation projects being developed in  the above areas are presented at the end of each story.

Since the EU R&D does not compare favorably to other developed economies, experts are increasingly referring to innovation emergency.

According to the 2011 Innovation Union Competitiveness Report:

  • Only 46% of EU researchers work in the business sector vs. 80% in the US and 73 % in Japan; 
  • Only 7 % of EU Ph. d. candidates spent some in another EU country vs. 56 % of senior researchers [this should be particularly worrisome - it shows who is privileged and one of the reasons young people from the EU emigrate]; 
  • Over the last decade, the nr of EU students who received a Ph. d. in the US increased by 38 %; 
  • Knowledge flows were concentrated in several EU countries, the new Member States (EU 12) and Southern EU countries were marginally involved;
  • Overall positive trends mainly in the Nordic countries

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