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Creating an innovative Europe - expert report

Creating an innovative Europe: report of the Independent Expert Group on R&D and innovation appointed following the Hampton Court Summit.

At the Hampton Court Summit on 27 October 2005, Heads of State and Government decided to give higher priority to the key issues on which Europe needs to act to address the challenges of globalisation. First among these issues were research and innovation.

The Commission thus asked a small group of four high-level experts, chaired by former Prime Minister of Finland Esko Aho, to assess the situation and make proposals to boost Europes research and innovation performance. The group issued its report on 20 January 2006.

It urges Europes leaders to take radical action on research and innovation "before it is too late" and calls for a Pact for Research and Innovation to be signed by political, business and social leaders to show their commitment to creating an Innovative Europe.

The experts state that current trends are unsustainable in the face of global competition. Therefore a new vision is needed to address a series of productivity and social challenges faced by Europe.

The group argues that there is a large gap between the political rhetoric about the knowledge society and the reality of budgetary and other priorities.

They propose a 4-pronged strategy focusing on the creation of innovation friendly markets, on strengthening R&D resources, on increasing structural mobility as well as fostering a culture which celebrates innovation.

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European Commission