Neelie KROES
Vice-President of the European Commission

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The EU investing in innovation - new partnerships to support electronics and ageing well

In the current climate – with so many looking for work and worrying about the future – we need to look towards the future sources of growth. And today the Commission came forward with a very clear example: a package for investment and innovation; including measures to stimulate new ideas in electronics, and to support a society that is getting older.

Better investment = better innovation: a radical shift for EU research in ICT

In my current role with the Digital Agenda I think a lot about innovation. The Internet enables a whole new kind of innovation: using new networks like collaborative platforms, or new techniques like data-mining. But innovation and research are also what enables the digital revolution in the first place – by helping create the technologies, the devices, the networks, and the business models that underpin the digital revolution. EU funding supports much of that research and innovation – like for the micro- and nano-electronics chips that sit under the bonnet of so much new innovation; or technologies like photonics and robotics that can help us out in fields from manufacturing to healthcare. The next generation of EU research support, Horizon 2020, makes it easier to seek funding, easier to bring good ideas to market, and easier for Europe to invest in innovation for the future. And our proposal would offer €80 billion in investment, around one fifth of which for ICT. But I've been thinking about how we can make that support for ICT even more effective: more challenging and disruptive, more coherent, and better able to boost Europe's competitiveness. And today I unveiled some detailed ideas for how we do that:

Great video about ICT in developing world

You may recall that a few months ago I visited Nairobi, Kenya. While I was there I checked out some of the amazing projects that relate to the crucial role of ICT and development.  I was really impressed with the ability of ICT to open up new opportunities - even in the poorest areas of the developing world. Ahead of the European Development Days, here's a cool video showing some of what I learned there.

Broadband and science helping the developing world

How does information and communications technology help scientific research? And how can that benefit the developing world? These are questions I set out to answer on a visit to Geneva today.

How ICT helps developing countries – some Kenya case-studies

I'm visiting Nairobi, Kenya for the Internet Governance Forum, where I gave a speech on how we should take care of the Internet. It's the first time ever the IGF has been held in sub-Saharan Africa. And this gave me an opportunity to explore something that's interested me for some time – the role of ICT in the developing world. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you'll know that I am very passionate about the role that ICT can play in stimulating Europe's economy. I am convinced that it can lift our economies, and provide smart, high-end jobs for the next generation. But I'm equally convinced that it can do the same in the developing world. Supporting development has always included investing in infrastructure, which has historically meant things like the water supply, roads, electricity networks, or human capital. But in the modern world ICT is essential infrastructure too, without which our economy cannot function.
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