Máire Geoghegan-Quinn: « Knowledge is the currency of the global economy. »

The European Commission has announced the final and biggest ever set of calls for proposals for research under its Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). In total, €8.1 billion will support projects and ideas that will boost Europe’s competitiveness and tackle issues such as human health, protecting the environment and finding new solutions to growing challenges linked to urbanization and managing waste. The funding – which is open to organizations and businesses in all EU Member States and partner countries – makes up the lion’s share of the EU’s proposed €10.8 billion research budget for 2013. This announcement comes just days after EU leaders emphasized the importance of research and innovation in the Compact for Growth and Jobs.
European Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said: « Knowledge is the currency of the global economy. If Europe wants to continue to compete in the 21st century, we must support the research and innovation that will generate growth and jobs, now and in the future. The high level of competition for EU funding makes sure that taxpayers’ money goes to the best projects that tackle issues that concern all of us. »

Key Enabling Technologies to boost European growth in jobs

The European Commission has today called for a European effort to boost Key Enabling Technologies (KETs). The global market in KETs, which comprises micro- and nanoelectronics, advanced materials, industrial biotechnology, photonics, nanotechnology and advanced manufacturing systems, is forecast to grow from € 646 Billion to over € 1 Trio by 2015.

Rapid growth in jobs is expected, too. In nanotechnology industries alone, the number of jobs in the EU is expected to increase from 160,000 in 2008, to around 400,000 by 2015. The European Commission tabled its strategy today to boost the industrial production of KETs-based products, e.g. innovative products and applications of the future. The strategy aims to keep pace with the EU’s main international competitors, restore growth in Europe and create jobs in industry, at the same time addressing today’s burning societal challenges. As a matter of fact, Europe is a global leader in KETs research and development with a global share in patent applications of more than 30%. Despite this, the EU is not translating its dominant R&D base into the production of goods and services needed to stimulate growth and jobs. This is why the Commission calls for a European effort to boost KETS.

Eco-industries: a sustainable and competitive option to increase growth and jobs

JRC conference Scientific support for growth, jobs and sustainability: the example of eco-industries, held on Tuesday 15 May in Brussels, emphasised the unique role eco-industries can play in Europe’s economic recovery and sustainable future. It was discussed how scientific support can boost the growth of eco-industries.
In his closing remarks at the end of the conference, JRC Director-General Dominique Ristori emphasised the need for action. Science and innovation are crucial for technologies to meet the new challenges in this process. Eco-industries ( Green ) can be an answer to the challenge of combining growth and protection of the environment. He also stressed the need to propose integrated solutions, as air, water, waste and energy challenges (the fields in which eco-industries work) are closely interlinked. He highlighted that the JRC will support focused innovation in close co-operation with key partners from public administrations, industry and the science community. He also raised the challenge of costs and risks of developing and introducing new technologies and suggested they should be shared by public and private partnerships.

Jobs of the future, Microsoft Training and certifying for the Cloud

It has become common to hear about new digital technologies, such as the transition to the “Cloud”, but we do not have to forget about the necessity of qualified people able to manage this kind of technologies.
Don Field, Senior Director of Microsoft Certification programs, talks about the exciting new opportunities that these technologies hold for SME’s and large businesses and the turning point that training platforms can make to equip a well prepared workforce. (Video)

It is important to think ahead and anticipate trends in the workplace in order to prepare the next generation and steer current employees for their future jobs. Microsoft certifications are plotted against a skills roadmap , incorporating new skills for the cloud, that match developments in industry to talent pools. People that have validated skills that are transferable across industries and across boundaries will play a significant role in Europe meeting its goals for 2020.