EC proposes R&D reform
The European Commission (EC) has proposed major changes to EU research and innovation funding to make participation easier, increase scientific and economic impact, and provide better value for money. The proposed "Common Strategic Framework," to be introduced in the next EU budget after 2013, would bring together the current Framework Programme for research, the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme, and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology.
The EC is seeking stakeholder views on the proposed changes and on specific questions set out in a green paper it issued in February.
"We want EU funding to realize its enormous potential to generate growth and jobs and improve quality of life in Europe in the face of daunting challenges like climate change, energy efficiency, and food security," says EC Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn. "By making our programs more coherent and simpler, we will make life easier for researchers and innovators - especially SMEs -- attract more applicants and get even better results."
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http://spie.org/x47441.xml (press release PH21)
photo of Goetzeler, Kroes, Vetger: http://spie.org/Images/Graphics/AboutSPIE/Photonics21-Goetzler-Kroes-Vetger-2011.jpg
From left, Martin Goetzeler, CEO Osram and Photonics21 President, Commissioner Neelie Kroes, and Klaas Vetger, CTO Philips Lighting and Photonics21 Executive Board member, during Kroes'acceptance of the Photonics21 Vision document.
Europe envisions 10% growth rate for photonics
Emphasizing the importance of an innovation-friendly market as well as support for research, European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes accepted the Photonics21 Vision document from Photonics21 President Martin Goetzeler in Brussels in February.
According to the new Photonics21 report, the current global photonics market is estimated at €300 billion, and the leveraged impact of photonics in other enabled industries is substantially greater in terms of turnover and employment levels.
"I am convinced that research and innovation must be at the heart of new growth in Europe," Kroes said in her speech to the gathering. "I believe that photonics is a major opportunity for Europe."
Also, despite the recent economic crisis, Photonics21 estimates the annual growth rate of the photonics sector at greater than 10%, much faster than the overall growth of European GDP and faster still than the growth of the global market.
SPIE leaders joined Photonics21 at its annual meeting, underlining the success achieved by the platform in having photonics named as one of only five key enabling technologies for Europe.
SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs complimented the work done by Photonics21 and the EC's Photonics Unit in having photonics named as one of only five key enabling technologies for Europe.
"The recognition of photonics both as a substantial market itself and as an enabling technology that is key to advanced manufacturing and substantial consumer markets brings focus and coherence to European efforts both to continue a legacy of research leadership but now also to turn that into economic benefit," Arthurs said.
"The enabling aspect leverages the economic impact of photonics by a multiple of at least 20 of the actual photonics content. Photonics21 is putting Europe in a strong position to benefit from the 'century of the photon.' "
Arthurs is a member of the Photonics21 Board of Stakeholders. SPIE President Katarina Svanberg, a professor at Lund University Hospital, and other SPIE members of Photonics21 attended the meeting this week.