Link to Gago Report, Technopolis study, project synopses? In 2004, a High Level Group (HLG) of experts, chaired by José Mariano Gago, released a report, Increasing Human Resources for Science and Technology in Europe . Their specific objectives were to determine the reasons why Europe is not generating as much research manpower to meet its needs.
The HLG was established by former Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin as a response to a broad strategy implemented by the European Commission to address the Lisbon and Barcelona goals. The group concluded that roughly 8 researchers for every 1 000 are needed in the workforce to achieve the Lisbon and Barcelona target of attaining 3 % of GDP (gross domestic product). This target equates to 1.2 million additional research personnel or about half a million extra researchers in science, engineering and technology (SET).
In 2001, there were 5.7 researchers (in full-time equivalent positions) per 1 000 of the workforce for the EU-15. The HLG found large differences between European countries; Finland topped the list at 13.77, while some of the most populated countries generated much lower figures, including Germany and France at 6.55 and the UK at 5.49.
According to the HLG, the target could not be achieved without deliberate and sustained action. In their report, they provide tangible action for future research and development policy in Europe. Among the 27 major recommendations made, the HLG called for the need to:
Surveys show that, in general, young people do not have a clear idea of what scientists do, and are unaware of the range of career options open to those with qualifications in science, technology and mathematics. These and other perceptions of (S&T) careers have an obvious impact on interest, motivation and subject choices.
Industry, research organisations and other bodies are increasingly playing an active role in bridging the gap between science education and science careers by promoting better awareness of the diversity of choice and opportunities.
The Science in Society (SIS) Programme supports projects that reinforce the links between science education and S&T careers. Under the 2010 Work Programme, for example, a Call for Proposals invited applications that explored these links by engaging the participation of industry. A proposal, for instance, could set out to address a specific sector (e.g. chemical industry), be more generic in its approach (e.g. careers in research organisations) or combine elements of both. The ultimate aim of this Call for Proposals was to convey useful information and direct experience to young people at a time when choices are made with regard to study subjects.