EUROPEAN FORUM FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY PRAGUE
History of Previous Forums
Let’s remember a few personalities who have participated in past Forums: Nobel Prize winners Prof. Sir Harold W. Kroto (University of Sussex, UK), Prof. Claude Cohen-Tannoudji (France), Prof.
Richard R. Ernst (Switzerland), Prof. Sir R. Timothy Hunt (UK), Mirek Topolánek (former Czech Prime Minister), Vladimír Špidla (EU Commissioner), Prof. Sigrid D. Peyerimhoff (Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, University of Bonn, Germany), Prof. Rudolf Hanka (University of Cambridge, UK). Sir Stephen Gomersall (Chief Executive for Europe, Hitachi Europe Ltd., UK), Eric Terhaerdt (Vice-President of Clinical Development AstraZeneca, UK), Dietmar Theis (Siemens AG, Corporate Technology Manager, Strategic Marketing, Cooperation and Media Representative), and many other important personalities.
Who Are the Forum’s Visitors?
21% University students
32% University and high-school teachers
22% Managers of industrial companies
Some Disturbing Facts… or What’s Wrong with European Science?
Lisbon? A Utopia
The aim of the Lisbon Strategy was to make science spending grow to 3% of GDP by 2010, 66% of which was supposed to come from the private sector.
In 2005, Europe invested an average of 1.84% of its GDP in science and research, which was even less than its 2002 spending; 54.5% of this was paid for by companies. The EU is falling behind the US, which invests 2.67% of its GDP (the share of the private sector amounts to 61.4%) and Japan (3.18% of its GDP, 75%). Another threat to the EU comes from fast-developing Asian countries, behind which Europe is at risk of lagging. China, for example, has doubled its R&D spending since 1999.
Europe Is Lagging in Technology Trade
In 2001, the United States Patent and Trademark Office registered 89,636 patents filed by US entities and 30,285 patents filed by EU entities. On the other hand, the European Patent Office registered 60,890 patents filed by EU entities and 22,226 US patents. Per inhabitant, Europe thus uses twice as many patents coming from the US as Americans use EU patents.
This is also reflected in the technology trade. The share of high-tech product exports has been falling in the EU, and the continent is thus steadily trailing behind the US and Japan. In 2001, high-tech products worth €195bn were exported from Europe, while imports were worth €218bn. In the same period, Japan, for example, had a positive balance of such trade amounting to €39bn.
Young People Running Away to the USA
While the EU was short 800,000 to 1,000,000 R&D personnel in 2010, half of all EU students going to the US for their graduate studies don’t come back to Europe.