The setup of public research in France

Laurence Esterle

French public research institutions were conceived a half century ago for big scientific projects and from a national, centralized perspective. Nowadays, the life sciences, information technology and nanotechnology have different requirements. It is time to create a European research area around regional “poles of excellence”. It is also time for an indispensable redistribution of ways and means among disciplines and regions. The coming demographic revolution might provide an opportunity for reorganizing the system.

Where are brains draining and how to channel the flow ?

Catherine Belotti

Young people are shying away from the sciences, and our scientists are being lured across the Atlantic. How to reverse this trend before the United States’ technological advance and Asia’s rising power become irreversible facts? The answer is not just budgetary. Above all, it calls for improving cooperation between public authorities and firms, managing human resources differently and enhancing the image of scientists. A small cultural revolution…

The circulation of gray matter: The American and Asian challenges

Jérôme Fourel

Indian and Chinese immigrants set up more than half the technology firms created in Silicon Valley in 2002. Following the globalization of production in the 1980s and 1990s, the period from 2000 to 2010 is looming as the decade when knowledge will undergo globalization. The winners will surely be the new American and Asian elites, who, for twenty years now, have been committed to principles and practices of codevelopment. Is there a future for European engineers and scientists? Will they understand the value and urgency of tighter relations with Asia? A deliberately provocative Community interpretation of the globalization of “knowledge industries”…

Incubators for entrepreneurs ?

Philippe Albert

Incubators for startups are practical means for helping various developers to create microenvironments where young firms can take root. They are not shelters or magic boxes. Local authorities, big companies and universities have adopted measures in favor of them. Since they emerged twenty years ago, academic and scientific “incubators” are thriving with active support from public authorities. But many are called, few are chosen: conditions have to be met if the measures are to be crowned with success.

Managing innovation in firms

Thierry Weil

More than ever, innovations are the driving force behind growth in developed countries. The usual problems of managing innovation still exist. What has changed is innovation’s place in companies. Innovations involve all positions in the company and not just technologists. The capacity for dialogue and the ability to work in a network both in- and outside the firm are now the conditions for sustainably improving a firm’s competitive edge.

Support for industrial R&D in microelectronics

Ivan Faucheux

Policies supporting industrial research and development have, for a long time, been the prerogative of central states and the European Commission. They are now opening toward new partners with local authorities in the front rank. Far from countering each other, many actors — and arrangements — are now reinforcing each other’s actions owing to their complementarity in microelectronics, where a plurality of viewpoints is a factor of success. In this field, public investments are a necessary but not sufficient condition for the excellence required in global competition.

R&D facilities and clusters : Growth thanks to innovation

Pierre Laffitte

How to transpose the American research model to Europe? How to stimulate the economy on this side of the Atlantic without running a deficit like the United States’? Sell European bonds on the world market to stimulate growth through innovations. The explanations…

Research and technology in security : European perspectives

Patrice Cardot

Since 11 September 2001, the United States has been devoting more and more means to research and development in security. Europe should follow this example by rapidly adopting the instruments necessary for conducting a deliberate strategic R&D policy. Otherwise, it must give up plans for forming a major technological power capable of providing its peoples with the level of global security they expect; and it must no longer claim to play a key role in international security.

The technological stakes in security : Key technologies, needs and possible programs

Brigitte Serreault

The scope of societal, economic and industrial security issues necessitates a governance of research at the national and EU levels. Otherwise, neither France nor Europe will have any hope of figuring among the technological powers and thus preserving their political and strategic independence. A review of the fields of technology at stake and of the programs that might serve as the framework for imagining, planning, and funding developments in them…

Risk capital : What have we learned since the crisis ?

Pascal Lagarde and Pierre Bouchara

Since 2000 and the collapse of stock markets, risk capital is in the throes of a crisis. Although interventions by public authorities have limited this crisis, a chain of funding without any missing links should be reinforced: upstream by creating small and middle-sized businesses; and downstream by helping them to grow thanks, in particular, to an improved utilization of household savings. At stake is our ability to create and develop new companies producing added value and to hoist them to the top ranks in a globalized economy.

Industrial research : Europe, a future power ? The first lessons drawn from the EU’s Sixth Framework Program For Research And Development in Technology

Alain Quévreux

Producing and using knowledge are now the economy’s fundamental parameters and one of the keys for nations to be prosperous, whence the EU’s technological cooperative model implemented through its Sixth Framework Program for Research and Development in Technology. If this program manages to federate research capacities, it will open the way toward industrial successes that will attract international investments. For the time being, the aim, pursued by the Association Nationale de la Recherche Technique (ANRT) in France, is to initiate a virtuous cycle involving the economy and innovations.


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