VTT: A decision on establishment of the European Institute of Technology should be made during Finnish EU-presidency
Concrete actions needed to increase EU's competitiveness
Question of EU's competitiveness has been raised as a top priority issue during Finland's EU presidency. Competitiveness cannot be created in a short period of time. Rather, systematic, continuous investment in R&D, education and technology is needed. Moreover, on going interaction between researchers and companies is essential.
One concrete action, through which EU can accelerate its competitiveness, is to establish the European Institute of Technology (EIT). The issue has been discussed for some time. Now, it is time for the decision.
Education, know-how, technology, and innovations form the basis of economies’ competitiveness. VTT, Technical Research Centre of Finland, recognizes that Europe needs a strong high technology and know-how centre. The output of this new organization can be commercialized and utilized by individual companies and by whole industries. European Institute of Technology (EIT) can execute this mission.
Establishment of the new European Institute of Technology would be evidence of EU's will to promote technical and economic competitiveness. Erkki KM Leppavuori, President and CEO of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, advocates that this decision should be made during Finnish EU presidency.
EIT should have enough power and mandate to coordinate and develop R&D in the interest and objectives of the EU's economies and industries. EIT should not, however, compete with European Research Council (ERC), but complement it.
EIT can execute its mission if it has sustainable and intensive basic funding. EIT's HR and other resources should be defined with great ambition. In recruitment, competence, skills and quality should be in priority instead of quantity, political or other interests.
Further to this EIT could
- open a new concrete vision for technology and its possibilities. This vision would support the Lisbon treaty objectives
- be a source of innovations putting scientific know-how into service for economy, and competitiveness
- increase the adaptation of technology into new European areas of economy.