At the end of day one there was a panel debate on the successes and failures of EU-funded research. It was generally agreed that the EU research environment is fragmented – there is no equivalent of MIT, no EU-wide centres of excellence. Along with that came the statement, from Martin Sadler of Hewlett Packard, that “we should recognise talent, we let down our young researchers. MIT, for example, has regular competitions for young scientists and technologists – it really puts them on pedestal”.
Sadler also noted that whilst Europe produces top quality graduates, these graduates have poor business acumen compared to their American counterparts. He also noted the lack of women choosing technology-related careers, something that was backed up by Wendy Hall from Southampton University.
One of the initiatives aimed at trying to combat some of these concerns is the European ‘blue card’ for talented foreign students. This would make it easy for them to study and take up research-related jobs within the EU.