U.S. Losing Advantage in Clean Technology by ProQuest


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									                                          In December 2009, a governing board       seeking input on the definition of
financial regulations and auditing
                                          consisting of 18 eminent figures from      innovation, which programs are
requirements. And, as another first,
                                          the science, academic, and business       working and which are not, the
she will be supported by a Chief
                                          sectors selected from 20 proposals the    various funding programs, and the
Scientific Advisor, to come from the
                                          first three KICs, in the areas of          role of small- and medium-size
European scientist community.
                                          climate change, sustainable energy,       enterprise (SMEs) in generating
Geoghegan-Quinn has referred to the       and information and communication         innovation.
new innovation position as an             technology (ICT). Leaders of the three
“overarching” role. She expects to be a groups say their focus will be on           These are promising developments, but
key contributor to the new Innovation solving the major issues facing               buzzwords are big in Brussels. Only
Act, an important piece of legislation    modern European society, including        time will tell whether innovation is just
that will be drafted this year to replace those hotly debated at the climate        another one of them or whether it
the expiring Lisbon Agenda. She plans conference in Copenhagen.                     turns into real action with real results.
to encourage the development of an                                                                 John Blau,
                                          EIT will cover 25 percent of the KICs’
EU-wide patent system, new open                                                                    Contributing Editor
                                          budgets and help coordinate their
innovation policies, and researchers’                                                              Dusseldorf, Germany
                                          launch. The institute has just
mobility; she also intends to support                                                              john@johnblau.com
                                          approved a first round of funds,
EIT in whatever way she can.
                                          enabling the groups to hire
EIT, a pet project of Commission          administration staff, including Chief
President Barros, is the centerpiece of Executive Officers, and cover other            U.S. Losing Advantage
the European Commission’s efforts to start-up costs. The KICs are expected
develop greater research collaboration to spend between €50 million ($37
                                                                                       in Clean Technology
across the region. Although the           million) and €100 million ($74            On January 8, President Barack
president’s original vision—to model      million) a year over the next four        Obama announced the allocation of
the new innovation institute on the       years and, depending on their             $2.3 billion in tax credits for clean
Massachusetts Institute of Technology research, can apply for funding for up        energy projects. The aim of the
(MIT)—has been watered down               to 15 years in total.                     credits, which are part of the
somewhat, the institute is expected to                                              Recovery Act, is twofold: to create
                                          The KICs are expected to become
be fully up and running by April. It                                                jobs by fostering a robust clean-energy
                                          fully operational shortly after signing
aims to combine all three elements of                                               manufacturing sector and to meet
                                          a seven-year framework partnership
the so-called “knowledge triangle”—                                                 Obama’s stated goal of doubling the
                                          agreement in June and to be self-
innovation, research, and education—                                                nation’s use of renewable energy in
                                          sustaining in the medium term,
by bringing together university                                                     the next three years. According to
                                          according to de Nazelle. They are free,
departments, companies, and research                                                President Obama, the Recovery Act
                                          he adds, to seek additional financial
institutes to focus on key strategic                                                awards “will help close the clean
                                          support from the private sector,
areas, according to EIT director                                                    energy gap that has grown between
                                          national funding agencies, and EU
Gérard de Nazelle. The 
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