IF THERE WAS ONE THEME THAT EMERGED FROM THE RECENT ADDRESS BY MARIE Geoghegan-Quinn at the Oceans Advance breakfast series, Friday , Sept. 12, it was Geoghegan-Quinn’s belief that a healthy innovation ecosystem is key to a European economic recovery . Reading from a prepared address she told her audience that “the European budget allocated to research and innovation was increased, despite a decrease in the overall EU budget for 2014-2020. Also, despite the economic crisis, the Union has made progress towards its R&D investment target of three percent. This is a clear sign that the EU is prioritising growth and jobs.”
Hosted by OceansAdvance the event brought together representatives of the provincial ocean technology cluster including industry, research, funding partners and government to meet this member of the European Commission in charge of Research, Innovation and Science. She was in Canada for the first time, visiting St. John’s as part of a whirlwind tour of Canada that also included stops in Montreal and Ottawa. During her 24 hours in sSt. John’s she met with leaders of industry academia and government, toured local ocean technology infrastructure at the Marine Institute and OCRE.
In her address to the 60 assembled guests from the ocean technology cluster she provided evidence of the will and financial ability of the EU to partner with the right companies and research institutions. Her eaddress was broken out into threee sistinct parts, all emphasising oopportunities to partner on innovative developments. He address ahd three overarching topics: the Europe 2020 strategy to create an innovation friendly environment; the Galway Statement Implementation which included Canada, the US and EU as signatories to support sustainable exploration; and Horizon 2020, which, with 80 Billion Euros earmarked for research and innovation programs between now and 2020, is the EU’s biggest-ever research and development program.
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