High-level conference: EU research and innovation in our everyday life
27th November 2018
The European Commission held a joint conference with the European Parliament to showcase the ways in which EU funded research projects improve our daily lives. Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament, opened the proceedings alongside Henryk Skarżyński, Director of the World Hearing Center in Poland. Tajani discussed the long-standing European tradition of the pursuit of knowledge from Socrates to Fermi, declaring that research is ‘always about freedom’ and that innovation ‘allows us to harness our principles’. Investment in R&I has a ‘multiplier’ effect, and for every euro spent on research funding, the EU calculated 11 euros of value creation as a result. The event was clearly intended to raise the profile of scientific excellence in Europe when often it is said to be under-appreciated by the general public. Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation said ‘we need to find more and better ways to communicate so that every citizen across Europe has the chance to know how important EU research and innovation is in our daily life’. Bertrand Piccard, UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador echoed this sentiment, saying that Europeans ‘do not dare to be proud’ of their achievements, and this needs to change.
Policy-relevant points of interest
- Tajani said that in order to compete on the world stage in research and innovation, an increased budget for Horizon Europe is required
- He also said that the current focus on the Austrian presidency is to reach a consensus on Horizon Europe this Friday (30th November). If this does happen, there will be a greater chance of passing an agreement before the 2019 elections
A huge range of topics were discussed in the parallel sessions, covering everything from biorobotics, to electric ferries, ageing, homemade fuel, and tsunami asssessment systems.