Europe to double R&D spending

The European Commission today...

The European Commission today boosted funds for research and development in information and communications technology to €1.7bn, and called on members to double it.

This increased the R&D kitty from €1.1bn in 2010 to €1.7bn in 2013. The commission wants member states to provide matching funds.

Making the call, Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media, said target projects were the future internet, web-based services and nanoelectronics.

She said Europe was 34% of the global IT market, and was growing by 4% a year. But the added value was only 23% of the total, because Europe's market and research efforts were fragmented.

European public and private investment in IT research was less than half what the US spent, and the EU IT sector attracted one-fifth of the venture capital that the US did, she said.

IT created 12 million jobs in Europe and the IT sector represented 6% of EU GDP. "The sector is driving innovation and competitiveness in all sectors of the economy. But there is an important gap between what Europe produces and what it consumes in this knowledge-intensive field," she said.

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