Shape industrial policy and resilient competitiveness through cutting-edge science and technology

In a position published today, our association provides recommendations for a forward-looking industrial policy.
16th May 2024
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The leading universities of science & technology united within CESAER published today a position on ‘Competitiveness, reindustrialisation and strategic autonomy through leadership in science & technology’.

In this position, we advocate focusing on strategies to advance leadership in science & technology by:

  1. Playing to our strengths through excellence and leadership in science & technology: emphasising excellence and leadership in science and technology to reinforce Europe's position as a global powerhouse.
  2. Nurturing research & innovation talent for sustainable science & technology leadership in Europe: prioritising the development of high-quality jobs and diverse career pathways to attract and retain top research and innovation talent.
  3. Enhancing Europe’s competitive position in science & technology through supportive framework conditions: strengthening supportive framework conditions for research and innovation to bolster Europe's competitive position.
  4. Realising the fifth freedom to enable Europe to assume a globally leading role in science & technology thus reinforcing strategic autonomy: advocating for the free circulation of researchers, scientific knowledge, and technology to enable Europe's strategic autonomy.
  5. Exploring a European Competitiveness Research Council focused on the accelerated development of new technologies and associated talent: identifying and implementing specific funding instruments for fostering transformative research that will support the accelerated development of new technologies and associated talent in science and technology, thereby bolstering Europe’s global competitiveness.

"In the current dynamic global landscape, the strategic positioning of European science and technology universities is paramount. Europe's future prosperity hinges on our ability to leverage cutting-edge science and technology to address global challenges and seize emerging opportunities. Through their commitment to excellence in research, education, and innovation, CESAER Member universities are actively shaping Europe's industrial policy agenda. Horizon Europe has been instrumental in setting the stage for collaborative advancements in cutting-edge science and technology. As we advocate for the future of European industrial policy, it is essential that the next framework programme builds upon these foundations through the delivery of excellent research, ensuring that Europe remains at the forefront of innovation and competitiveness."

-- Orla Feely (President of CESAER and President of University College Dublin)

“Europe must realise the importance of talent attraction, education, and retention for its resilience and competitiveness. Amid global tensions, collaboration with international partners is crucial for scientific progress. Our universities play a pivotal role in this, ensuring Europe's leadership while safeguarding our interests. Upholding longstanding cooperation and autonomy is key. We must balance short-term goals with long-term competitiveness to sustain our leadership in science and technology."

-- Tim Bedford (Vice-President of CESAER and Associate Principal for Research and Innovation at the University of Strathclyde)

“With the Council Conclusions set to direct European industrial policy and competitiveness, it is crucial, on the one hand, for universities of science & technology to highlight their unique role in shaping Europe's industrial policy and enhancing competitiveness. After all, universities serve as hubs for cutting-edge research, innovation, and high-level education, nurturing the next generation of scientific and industrial leaders. On the other hand, it is imperative to see their vital role recognised in knowledge valorisation and driving innovation across key sectors, including deep tech and disruptive technologies."

-- Rik Van de Walle (CESAER Envoy to the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU and Rector of Ghent University)

For more information, please contact our Information & Communication Officer Justine Moynat.

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