Today, in the 21st century, Europe remains a global scientific powerhouse, while research and innovation (R&I) are vital in meeting contemporary economic, social and environmental challenges. R&I is fundamental to Europe’s recovery from the current economic crisis and progress towards sustainable growth and jobs.
However, despite the quality knowledge Europe continues to produce, it faces important challenges, including an investment gap compared with major rivals like the US and Japan, and competition from emerging powers such as China and Brazil.
In response, the EU and its Member States need not only to pump more resources into research but also to get the most out of the investments they make. This involves enhancing crossborder collaboration, improving the mobility of knowledge, resources and researchers, and overcoming fragmentation.
R&I is vital to the Union’s strategic vision for the current decade, as reflected in the Europe 2020 strategy, which seeks to transform the EU into a true Innovation Union (IU) that can turn ideas into quality jobs, green growth and social progress.
The EESC on innovation
The EESC recognises the importance of research and innovation for the EU’s future prosperity, competitiveness and sustainability. That is why the topic has been high on its agenda for years.