2/3 December 2014 in Brussels, Belgium
National Innovation Systems of the Greater China Region
Otto C C Lin
Hong Kong Academy of Engineering Sciences
The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)
Member of the EIT Governing Board
More than 200 guests attended the Euro-CASE Annual Conference and the Evening Event on Energy and Climate Policies respectively on December 3 and 2, which for the first time was held in Brussels. Representatives of the European institutions met the Presidents and members of the Academies across Europe in the Belgian Academy Palace.
At the Annual Conference on December 3, Presidents of the sister organizations Günter Stock, ALLEA, Jos van der Meer, EASAC, and Reinhard Hüttl, Euro-CASE, appeared jointly on one stage for the first time and proclaimed their commitment to a stronger partnership at the European level. Reinhard F. Hüttl concluded: « We can only meet today’s global challenges together with an interdisciplinary approach. Together we can offer a comprehensive and holistic science-based policy advice at the European level ».
On part of the attending representatives of the EU institutions that featured Vladimir Šucha, Director-General of the Joint Research Centre, Wolfgang Burtscher, Deputy Director-General for Research and Innovation and Anne Glover, Chief Scientist Adviser to the former President of the European Commission, J.M. Barroso, also supported the cooperation of the Academies. It was emphasized that the independent science-based policy advice provided by the Academies is very welcome at the European level in order to strengthen the evidence-based nature of political decisions. « This meeting will be a signal for increased cooperation and a structured dialogue between the European Commission and the European umbrella organizations of Academies, » said Euro-CASE President Reinhard F. Hüttl.
European Innovation Policy as central topic for Euro-CASE
In the afternoon, the focus of the conference was on European innovation policy for the period after Horizon 2020. A recurring claim was that Europe needs a stronger « entrepreneurial spirit » and a risk-oriented culture of innovation. This is also one of the core issues of the recent Euro-CASE « Policy Paper on European Innovation Policy », which was presented by Björn Nilsson, President of IVA and Chair of the Euro-CASE Innovation Platform. Other high-level European guest speakers Esko Aho (former Prime Minister of Finland), Bruno Revellin-Falcoz (member of the Governing Board and Executive Committee of the EIT) and Luc Soete (Chairman of the High Level Group RISE at the EU Commission), and international guests Randall S. Wright, MIT, USA, and Otto CC Lin, Academy of Engineering Sciences, Hong Kong, presented European and international approaches to innovation policy.
To sum up the Annual Conference, Academy Fellows Karl Klingsheim, Jakob Edler and Björn Nilsson discussed with Peter Dröll, DG RTD and Marisa Matias, MEP, specific questions of the future of European Innovation policy such as increased industry participation, internationalization, further simplifications for applicants and systemic implementation of support instruments across Europe in the future Framework Programmes for research and innovation of the EU. « Especially regarding innovation it has once again been confirmed what a unique forum Euro-CASE is when bringing together outstanding representatives from academia and industry. Europe’s economic success will increasingly depend on how quickly we bring our excellent research results to the market », said Björn Nilsson.
Evening Event: European Energy and Climate Policies beyond 2030
On the evening before the Annual Conference Euro-CASE members met with representatives of the European Institutions at the Palais des Academies in Brussels to present the work of the Euro-CASE Energy Platform and to discuss the future of the European energy and climate policy.
“We need short-term solutions from EU policy makers to prepare the markets of the future. Otherwise all our efforts will just become more costly”, said Bo Normark, co-chair of the Euro-CASE Energy Platform in a panel discussion with Dominique Ristori, Director-General of DG Energy, and Vincent Mages, European Round Table of Industrialists, that was introduced by a statement of Jerzy Buzek, MEP and chairman of ITRE.
In a brief statement, Peter van Kemseke, Member of the Cabinet of the EU Vice President for Energy Union, Maroš Šefčovič, outlined the concept of a European Energy Union. He stressed the importance of such Union for the new Commission.
In the final panel Academy Fellows Gianluca Alimonti, Bertrand van Ee, Hans Hvidfeldt Larsen and Peter Lund discussed the topic of “European Energy and Climate Policies beyond 2030” in a lively debate with the audience. An important outcome of the evening event was that new business models such as « green growth » may be an option for the future but more distinct concepts must be developed. The Euro-CASE Energy Platform is therefore considering to work on this topic in the future.