for Europe to measure up
- 29 - 31 January 2001-01-28
must begin by paying a very special tribute to Commissioner Busquin,
every member of the group of personalities and above all the sherpas
working group for all the excellent work they have done in concluding
what was a formidable task to put together a vision for European
aeronautics for the year 2020.
the long-term nature of our business, the pace of technology and
the economic structures on both government and industry we should
not shrink from a recognition that we face significant challenges
in fulfilling our aspiration, which takes Europe to a leading global
position in this area of work. This embraces not only industry and
wealth creation but also affects the quality of life of the citizens
must meet these challenges and we should all recognise, as I recognise
and my company recognises, that for the future wealth of Europe
we must give our full support to the vision and the objectives expressed
so clearly and eloquently in this report.
we are to embrace this vision and seriously attempt to translate
it into practice we must begin with an understanding of where we
stand and why it is so important for Europe to act and give the
commitment. We need straight away to face up to the stark statistics.
In research and technology the benchmark against which Europe has
to measure itself is the US. Not only is the US way ahead of Europe
in overall spend, but most notably ahead of us in the proportion
of that spend that comes out of government.
is a message we must send very clearly to all European governments.
Just to put some facts on that, in what is defined as aerospace
R&D under AECMA's statistical surveys, EU member states spend
less than half the figure for the US. In the EU, 55% is funded by
industry while in the United States 35% is funded by industry. Put
another way, the US government is spending in real terms three to
four times the amount spent by governments in Europe. And that for
me sums up our fundamental message. Europe has to act and we have
to work together to produce more government investment.
must work to ensure that this report provides the catalyst to secure
the agreement of all the top stakeholders on the strategic way forward.
And to do that Europeans must work together. We must avoid the duplication
that comes from failing to work and co-operate across national boundaries.
The recommendations in the report provide the key to this.
need a Strategic Research Agenda for Europe constructed and agreed
by all the relevant stakeholders. We need to establish the Advisory
Council for Aeronautics Research for Europe and we need the High
Level Group to ensure that the wider political and economic considerations
influence the debate about investment. And we need the Strategic
Research Agenda to ensure co-ordination and complementary rather
that duplicatory work across the funded European research programmes.
must eliminate as much as possible the European disadvantage over
the US when clearly a single government, with distinctive single
funding bodies and single programmes has an inherent advantage.
have lead the way in the past in both commercial aerospace and defence
in aeronautics. We are all very proud of the record - I need simply
to mention Airbus, Eurofighter, Concorde and Tornado. And we should
not shrink from reminding people that we still lead in some areas
today. When Airbus was formed there were sceptical politicians,
sceptical economists, even sceptics in our own industry. The record
today and Airbus status and position in the world market has shown
the doubters to be quite simply wrong.
the initiative represented in this report tells us that the work
we have to do is not just about individual projects or programmes.
We must pursue this agenda on a broad front. If we and not the US
are to be the world benchmark in this area then we must embrace
these proposals -not only the specifics but also the wider strategic
agenda they represent. We need to acquire a deep and collective
understanding of the impact of technology, the adaptation of technology
from other sectors and the ability to enhance the flow of technology
collaboration across national boundaries and between the defence
and civil areas. We also need to ensure that we work hard on increasing
and retaining public support for the continued spend of taxpayers
money in continued research and technology development for the good
proposals we have before us present a real opportunity for Europe.
But we must not think of them as merely aspirational. We must not
put ourselves into a mind-set that in this context we will always
be lagging behind the Americans. We must not think of the practical
aspects of this initiative as 'nice to have'.
we are to retain our technological, industrial and economic strengths
and independence and if are to become the global benchmark then
acting on these recommendations becomes an imperative.