Presentation on theme: "Ministry of Economy and Knowledge Strengthening Europe’s science base and European Research Area: Introduction Andreu Mas-Colell Minister of Economy and."— Presentation transcript:
Ministry of Economy and Knowledge Strengthening Europe’s science base and European Research Area: Introduction Andreu Mas-Colell Minister of Economy and Knowledge, Goverment of Catalonia Professor, Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Barcelona GSE Brussels 10 June, 2011
2 1.The economic and social returns of research are indisputably high 2.Research efforts have important localized effects 3.The public responsibility in strengthening the research base of Europe is high INDEX
3 1. The economic and social returns of research are indisputably high Estimates of economic return are high ( see Colin Macilwain: What Science is Really Worth, Nature 465/June 2010). As Pasteur remarked scientific progress has an element of a race between the forces of life and the forces of death. If scientific progress is duly matched with public responsibility and with the presence of a reasonable regulatory environment on the uses of the products of research, scientific advances will constitute one of the major forces for the sustainable growth of our planet.
4 We could free ride on the effort of others, but Europe should understand that undertaking research efforts has many benefits for Europe: A strong research base is a source of intellectual property and, as a consequence, of economic revenues. Europe hasn’t been a lead player in a number of technological revolutions of the XX Century. In the XXI Century we should do better. For this it is necessary the presence of a top-of-the-line research base (including infrastructures, universities and a first-rate talent pool). A necessary condition is to be a major provider of highly qualified human resources. Contribution to an European ambition of having the most educated population in the world. The share European population in the world is getting smaller. Also, the economies are converging. Therefore, to ensure the world presence of European values, strength in research and higher education is a must. 2. Research efforts have important localized effects
5 3. The public responsibility in strengthening the research base of Europe is high Maintaining, or strengthening, a research base is a public responsibility. At a time of budgetary tensions, where the synergies of the public and private sectors are viewed as rays of hope for the avoidance of a standstill, one should keep in mind that for the most basic end of the scientific or the scholarship spectrum it will be the public sector or it will not be. The very competitive world research arena does not allow Europe to spend fewer resources on the task of keeping the strength of its research base. It would be disastrous if the Member States where to disengage or weaken their commitment. However, the current European budgetary landscape offers a good opportunity for rationalization across levels of government: EU, Member States, Regions. We should take full advantage of the gains of efficiency obtainable by focalization, including all sorts of pooling of resources and coordination, at the European level. We should make sure 2020 fares better than 2010. For this we must strengthen the research base of Europe and, to do so, there is no other feasible way that the way of a true and integrated European Research Area.