Dons and developers to steer EU's technology
The EU's Institute for Innovation and Technology will meet for the first time to discuss how scientists and businesses can work together to invent innovative products.31 July 2008
BRUSSELS - Scientists and inventors including the president of the prestigious Munich Technical University and the director of Skype are set to steer the European Union's top innovation network, the European Commission announced Wednesday.
The 18-member governing board of the EU's Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT) is set to meet for the first time on 15 September. It is to discuss how best the EU can encourage scientists and businesses to work together to invent innovative products.
The board has no lack of knowledge in that area. Among the 18 are Estonian internet entrepreneur Linnar Viik, a director of online phone giant Skype, Austrian biotechnology entrepreneur Alexander von Gabain, and the head of research and development at Norway's Statoil, Morten Loktu.
The president of Munich Technical University, Wolfgang Herrmann, and the vice-chancellor of Britain's Aston University, engineering expert Julia King, are also among the 18.
The concept of the EIT was created by EU member states in 2006 as a way of bringing universities, researchers and business - the so- called "knowledge triangle" - closer together in order to make the EU's economy more innovative.
The name quickly drew parallels with that of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a US university famed for its innovative creations.
However, unlike its illustrious US counterpart, which has some 10,000 students, EIT is not intended to act as a teaching and research institute, but rather as a go-between, bringing Europe's academic minds and business money together.
The board of governors is expected to nominate the first two to three "knowledge and innovation communities" (KICs) by the end of 2009, a press release from the commission said.
Despite its limited role, EIT sparked a fierce battle between member states as to who would get to host it, with Budapest finally winning out over the Polish town of Wroclaw in June.
[dpa / Expatica]