Stem anti-crisis kennisgelden beter af

Nieuws | de redactie
5 juni 2009 | Innovatoren en wetenschappers roepen op de anti-crisis investeringen in kennis en innovatie veel slimmer en effectiever op elkaar af te stemmen. Wereldwijd raakt dat bij de G-20 al zo’n $200 miljard.

“But unlike moves to save the global financial system, or rescue the automobile industry, there is no agreement on how this money should be spent. In 1944, the world’s economic leaders met at a resort in New Hampshire called Bretton Woods, and initiated a new economic order. Now, in the age of the knowledge economy, we believe that a new effort at global collaboration is needed,” zegt een gezamenlijke verklaring van een reeks toppers uit wetenschap en bedrijfsleven.

The first signatories, include: Deans J. Frank Brown of INSEAD and Alfons Sauquet of ESADE Business School; President Harriet Wallberg-Henriksson of Karolinska Institutet; President Jean-Philippe Courtois of Microsoft International; Pat Cox, president of the European Movement and former president of the European Parliament; TVM Capital Managing Partner Helmut M. Schühsler; Philippe Pouletty, CEO of Truffle Capital and Chair of France Biotech; and Denis Payre, CEO of Kiala and co-founder of Business Objects. All are members of the Innovation Board, a group of innovation leaders brought together by Science|Business to improve the climate for innovation in Europe.

According to the report, “Stimulating Innovation,” more than 40 countries around the world have announced economic stimulus packages totalling $2.8 trillion. Within that is dedicated funding for research, education, energy, cleantech investments and other forms of innovation.

Several economists question whether such long-term innovation investments can make much difference for a short-term economic crisis. They may be proved right, because most of these efforts are going off in different directions. Among the examples:

*       – The UK is putting $2.1 billion toward loan guarantees for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

*       – Australia’s targets include education, including new science labs, and energy efficiency including ceiling insulation in 2.7 million Australian homes.

*       – Germany is extending its write-downs for SMEs, and wants to raise funding and credit for innovation and young, innovative firms.

*       – Japan’s patent office is offering deferred fees for patent filings, and new funding for stemcell research.

The declaration suggests, as a first step, international discussion comparing and studying each country’s experiences of what actually works and what doesn’t when trying to stimulate innovation. A relatively easy area in which to start collaborating is in R&D and innovation-incentives intended to solve the ‘Grand Challenges’ of our day – including research on climate change, alternative energy and healthcare for an aging population. Coordinated discussion of scientific visas, intellectual property rules and other legal regimes that limit mobility of researchers and ideas also need discussion.

The declaration was released at the Science|Business conference on international innovation policy, featuring EU Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potocnik; Finnish employment secretary Mikko Alkio; Patricia Kelly, the Australian deputy industry and innovation secretary; Boni Mehlomakulu, the South African deputy director-general for science and technology; Klaus Gretschmann, director-general in the Council of the European Union; plus numerous academic and industry leaders.

View and sign the declaration here.

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