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Innovative Flanders: Innovation Policies for the 21st Century - Report of a Symposium Remarks on Behalf of the U.S. Delegation William J. Spencer SEMATECH (retired) Dr. Spencer introduced the Flemish audience to the Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP) program, the co-host of the conference, as part of the U.S. National Research Council, the “working arm of the National Academies.” This symposium was part of a series of workshops that had begun about 18 months earlier and included meetings in Taiwan, China, and India. “Europe is and will continue to be a major economic player,” he said, “so learning from what you’ve done is important.” He recalled that he had first come to Europe about 41 years earlier on a journey that included a drive to a conference in Liège. The entire town was dark because it had no street lights. He and his colleagues had been able to find the house by a sliver of light that escaped under the front door. He remarked on how much had changed since that time. On the flight over the Atlantic he had thought about the new frontiers of technology that had opened, beginning with the invention of the transistor in 1947 and the integrated circuit. When he first visited, the only uses of the IC were a few defense applications. All arrangements for the meeting in Liège had been made by telephone or snail mail; the current meeting, by contrast, had been arranged entirely by email, thanks to the wide new communications universe of the Internet. Since 1965, he said, Europe had taken giant strides, and was poised to take more. He recommended the book by T. R. Reid, The United States of Europe: The New Superpower and the End of American Supremacy.1 “In 1965 we came to lecture. Today we come to listen and learn.” 1 T. R. Reid, The United States of Europe: The New Superpower and the End of American Supremacy, Penguin Press, 2004.