Regarding ‘Regional ‘stars’ rewarded for innovative projects‘:
The EU’s integrated ‘innovation chain’ has never been complete and therefore will never work. For if we have a broken link in any connected chain or necklace, it will always inextricably fall to the ground. The only way to fix that link is to connect the two unconnected ends together: likewise for Europe’s innovation strategy, which is currently missing its vital link of ‘independent’ invention and ideas – the prerequisite of economic dynamism in the 21st Century.
Unfortunately, EU politicians and their commissioners do not read or understand what the history of science and technology tells them. If they did, they would understand that over 75% of all the ‘fundamental thinking’ that underpinned the inventions that have made the modern world what it is today did not emanate from our university laboratories or advanced corporate R&D centres, but from the minds of ‘independent’ inventors and innovators.
For example, the late Jack Kilby invented the Integrated Circuit (IC) in his own spare time and was not asked by Texas Instruments or his university to invent it. No, he did so out of sheer interest and basically it became his private hobby. This single invention is now, according to Texas Instruments, underpinning a global annual industry worth trillions of dollars.
Without it, this global industry just simply would not exist – the IC is therefore the greatest wealth creator ever invented and enjoys the equivalent in annual economic turnover to that of India, Russia or Canada.
Wouldn’t it be great if the EU were to come up with several equivalents to the IC, transforming Europe’s economic fortunes overnight? But this will never happen, as EU’s ‘independent’ inventors are not considered to be a part of the EU’s innovation and economic strategy.
That is how backward our politicians, commissioners and policymakers really are; for they have not as yet grasped the vital importance of the contribution that our independent inventors could provide.
Indeed, if they had a clue, they would firstly set up a network where these very special people within an European innovation chain should come first before all others. For we have to have the fundamental thinking first and not our universities or corporate R&D centres first as we have today. Overall if we created the innovative infrastructure for these people to flourish, the EU’s innovation chain could be completed.
This is truly the missing link in the EU’s thinking and until our policymakers understand this pre-eminent European economic deficit, Europe will always stagnate in economic terms against the backdrop of the continual emerging creative might of South-East Asia. For in another 25 years, the EU will be the poor man of the world unless it grasps now the crucial importance of our Independent innovators and puts in place the mechanism that they need to release their unique thinking.
Presently, we have the cart before the horse and to stop the EU’s eventual socio-economic meltdown, we have to reverse these positions for our own good in the long term.
Dr. David Hill
World Innovation Foundation Charity