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Friday, 12 November 2010

New study calls for more recognition of research organisations

Mobile phones, offshore wind energy and solar panels are all examples of innovations produced with a "substantial" input from RTOs. But the study says RTOs remain "largely undocumented" and their role is "poorly understood".It makes a number of recommendations which it says are designed to "unleash" the potential of RTOs.Speaking at the Brussels launch of the study, EU research and innovation commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn agreed that RTOs are "key actors" in the European innovation system.She said RTOs were "key partners" in the EU's 'innovation union' strategy and their contribution towards meeting the EU 2020 targets should not be underestimated.RTOs aim to build bridges between basic research and practical applications, working with both universities and companies on everything from security of energy supply to healthy ageing.The study, conducted by the Technopolis Group, an independent research organisation, estimates their annual economic impact in Europe as up to €50b.Erkki Leppavuori, president of Earto, the umbrella body for over 350 RTOs, said, "This study puts a necessary spotlight on the major contribution RTOs make to economic competitiveness and social progress in Europe."It demonstrates that RTOs are essential actors in the innovation system and give real value for money."We now have to look forward to implementation of the study's key findings."

Source: The Parliament