The European Institute of Technology

February 22, 2006

In response to the European Commission's launch of a Communication to the European Council on developing a knowledge flagship: the European Institute of Technology, MEPs Prof. Jerzy Buzek and Dr. Jorgo Chatzimarkakis called for stronger links between the innovation, research and business communities.

According to Dr. Chatzimarkakis the EIT is now foreseen as a network - linking the best departments of various EU Universities and industries/businesses to create "knowledge communities" working on particular projects - complemented by a head quarter coordinating its activities. The EIT must be a liaison office between the excellent research centres Europe possesses and the industrial/business community to turn our ideas into products, into market value".

Dr. Chatzimarkakis and Prof. Buzek also highlighted that the nature, roles and aims of the EIT and ERC (European Research Council) should be clearly differentiated. They both will have to cooperate but the EIT should concentrate on applied research delivering short-term results. "Research is about investing money in knowledge, innovation is about making money out of knowledge and that is where Europe is lacking behind" underlined Jorgo Chatzimarkakis.

The Commission's Communication explains that the EIT should be about strengthening the knowledge triangle (education-research-innovation) and bridging the gap between two mentalities: that of the researcher and that of the entrepreneur. It can foster and spread an "innovative spirit" across Europe while being a beacon attracting the best European and international brains back in the EU.
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