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Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Research and innovation helps Europe compete

Financial Times
July 4, 2011

Sir, In reference to your article “Brussels defies UK-led drive for long-term spending freeze” (June 30), Europe’s universities would like to highlight the positive aspects to the European Union budget proposals.

We believe the European Commission is right to propose increased funding for research, innovation and higher education and we urge national governments and the European Parliament to keep this at the forefront of their minds while they discuss in the coming months the Commission’s proposals.

This is particularly important as European competitiveness continues to be eroded and challenged by the inexorable advance of Asian economies. While undercutting labour costs cannot continue indefinitely and pressures mount for revaluation and convertibility of the renminbi, China and India are shifting up the value scale into technologically based industries. Repatriating outstanding business leaders and academics is inspiring a new generation of workers and entrepreneurs in these countries combined with astonishing level of investment.

To meet this second wave of Asian business competition Europe must generate vastly increased numbers of talented, smart people and world-beating research that can fuel innovation and gear new business.
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