PositionEuropean Institute of Technology - Research Minister Annette Schavan

Questions regarding the German EU Presidency's position on the proposed European Institute of Technology dominated an exchange of views held with Research Minister Annette Schavan in the European Parliament's Industry Committee on 30 January.

In her opening statement to the committee, the minister, who had come directly from a similar intervention in the EP's Committee on Culture and Education (see separate article), devoted much attention to setting out how the Presidency views the EIT. She stated that the "basic idea" is to use it "to develop much more mobilisation of capital from European industry" for research and development, and to "transfer research results to business much more cost effectively and quickly". In this context, she noted, the "idea of an EIT is a very important one".

On the structure of the EIT, Schavan noted that what is needed is "not necessarily an institute," but "groupings" of companies, universities and researchers, with "broad-based participation". The definition of these Knowledge and Innovation Communities (as they are called in the Commission's proposals), as well as the issue of funding for the institute, were highlighted as two of the points that will be focused on by the Presidency.

Both of the European Parliament's rapporteurs on the dossier- namely Reino Paasilinna (PES, Finland), and Erna Hennicot-Schoepges (EPP-ED, Luxembourg) were present in the committee. Hennicot-Schoepges raised the issue of diplomas, asking to know what sought after degrees the minister felt the institute should be able to issue. The minister responded that, in her view, "the objective should not be to create...

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