Shared visions, common research futures
The outcome of the “Key Technologies for Europe” expert group's work was debated in a mixed group of experts and decision-makers during a conference held in Brussels on 19-20 September 2005. This dissemination conference concluding the work of the expert group was a success with the high level of 150 participants.
Europe must develop a research agenda “beyond the Lisbon strategy”
The conference was inaugurated by Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potočnik, who welcomed the recommendations of the expert group report on 'Key Technologies for Europe', agreeing with the conclusion that Europe must develop a research agenda “beyond the Lisbon strategy”.
The Commissioner stressed that it is not the job of politicians to try to pick winners from among the various emerging technological sectors, but that nonetheless anticipatory action is required on the part of public authorities. “It is about creating the conditions to allow industries of tomorrow to develop and flourish”, he said, referring to the new communication on a “New industrial policy”.
Commissioner Potočnik promised to give a follow-up on the expert group recommendations in policy terms by channelling them into the policy preparation for the implementation of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). He also stressed that the report's implications reached beyond EU policy making. 'Member States' policy makers, research communities and businesses should be made aware of the challenges ahead. I therefore count on you to disseminate in your own country the work of this group and the results of the debates you had,' he concluded.
As the work of the expert group has revealed, however, products and services are increasingly being brought together in complex systems, and there is a need for more specific research into these product-service systems of the future. In areas such as robotics, statistical and dynamical models, pharmacology and linguistics, Europeans are among the world leaders, and all are fields characterised by interdisciplinarity. 'However, interdisciplinarity was not on the research agenda 20 years ago,' said the Commissioner, underlining the need for a foresight approach to keep up with technological developments.
 Commission Communication "Implementing the Community Lisbon Programme: A Policy Framework to Strengthen EU Manufacturing - towards a more integrated approach for Industrial Policy" - COM(2005) 474 final of 5.10.2005