Click for next page ( 95

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement

Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 94
Concluding Remarks Jorma Routti Director-General DGXII European Commission The statue of Albert Einstein outside the National Academy of Sciences' main building in Washington, D.C., reminds us of the search for the simple and beautiful laws of nature. Einstein's insight on the relationship between energy and mass is a good example of such scientific simplicity and elegance. On the other hand, a quotation credited to Einstein "Everything should be made as simple as possible but not simpler" cautions us about oversimplification. It is useful to keep this idea in mind when we seek solutions to the complex problems of today's world. The study of complex phenomena has progressed rapidly in recent years. Fractals, bifurcations, and chaotic phenomena are found in mathematics, weather patterns, biology, and economic theories. The work of Belgian Nobel Prize win- ner Ilya Prigogine has contributed greatly to the understanding that seemingly simple things, even at the atomic level, have great uncertainties. Prigogine's re- cent works, The End of Certainty and The Laws of Chaos, shed light on the inher- ent complexity of the early universe. To improve the understanding of complex phenomena, the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico brings together many Nobel Prize winners to explore complexity. Researchers in Santa Fe have found that our world is not predetermined, that it is far more unpredictable than we have imag- ined and hence much more challenging than the deterministic Newtonian world. In the economic realm, complexity theory points to the difficulty in predicting the economy's evolution and that small changes in economic conditions can lead to swift and dramatic changes in market shares within industries. The dynamism of knowledge-based companies in the communications, electronics, and biotechnol- ogy sectors is a manifestation of complexity in the economy. The end result is the 94

OCR for page 94
JORMA ROUITI 95 growth of opportunities for entrepreneurs, who may be able to reap large rewards in a fast-changing, though risky, economy. As we all know, science and technology are among the principal driving forces of the world today. They form the foundation of knowledge-based indus- tries, and they are needed to develop solutions for complex problems facing our societies. Science, The Endless Frontier, the classic book by Vannevar Bush (1945), has defined science policies in the United States for decades. In 1997 the European Commission published Society, The Endless Frontier, which analyzes links between science and society and defines the challenges of today and tomor- row. The United States and Europe should draw lessons from each of these im- portant documents so that science on both sides of the Atlantic complements each other in the best possible way. The new approach, from Society, The Endless Frontier, is also the basis of the new European Union' s Framework Programme for Research and its problem- driven structure. This approach should interest our American colleagues because the framework's key recommendations open wider access to European research while asking for complementary American contributions. The important feature of such science collaboration is that it is not a zero-sum game where one party wins at the expense of the other. Rather it can lead to win-win results in many areas of common interest, on the basis of reciprocal contributions and mutual benefits. We have discussed many issues and technologies during this conference. To draw conclusions from the rich program is not an easy task. Specific recommen- dations and conclusions have already been reported from the parallel workshops. So my conclusions are of a more general nature, and I will summarize them in eight points. High level of interest. We can fairly say that the new U.S.-European Union (KU) science and technology (S&T) cooperation agreement has generated a lot of interest on both sides of the Atlantic. The agreement is an instrument to promote scientific cooperation across the Atlantic. This legal and administrative frame- work should be used in a proactive way. 2. Broad-based involvement. Although public authorities and their agencies will play a very active role, a top-down approach alone is not sufficient. Industry (large and small), academia, and individual laboratories and researchers must actively engage themselves in joint projects in areas of common interest. We should use our agreement as a tool for efficient cooperation to avoid unnecessary and costly duplications on each side. 3. Use of advanced communications technologies. Building timely and eas- ily accessible information channels and using modern high-technology informa- tion and communication are of the utmost importance for efficient implementa- tion of the agreement. We need to make all interested researchers and

OCR for page 94
96 CONCLUDING REMARKS policymakers aware of the potential that this agreement offers. Otherwise, there is a risk that it will remain a skeleton. 4. Continue to develop priority areas for cooperation. The reports from our conference sessions on the priority areas indicate that there are topics to be ex- plored further. This should be done soon, and indeed efforts are already under way. On the European Union side, the Fifth Framework Programme will be quite well synchronized with the U.S.-EU S&T agreement in the beginning of 1999. However, those that are directly concerned in the already-selected priority areas should begin to launch concrete collaborative actions now. The EU will continue the process of selection of further priority areas after this conference. I also be- lieve that the EU's new approach to research, with its focus on finding solutions to major problems facing society, is of great interest to the U.S. side. 5. Maintain momentum for cooperation. A follow-up to this conference will held in Europe in 1999, and at that time we will continue to explore areas for cooperation. Some areas will be jointly selected during an upcoming informal meeting of the Joint Consultative Group here in Washington and the forthcoming formal meeting in Brussels. In the meantime the momentum generated by this first conference should not be lost. Contact persons designated by each side shall pursue the follow-up jointly with their colleagues responsible for S&T collabora- tion in the European Commission and in the U.S. government agencies. 6. Continue bilateral cooperation. With increasing S&T cooperation be- tween the European Community and the United States, we should neither forget nor underestimate the numerous opportunities for collaboration at the bilateral level. Collaboration can proceed between the United States and EU member states or directly between universities and industries from both sides. Hence, it is im- portant to use the U.S.-EU S&T agreement in a selective and intelligent way and to respect what we call "subsidiarily" in the KU. Let us choose the most efficient level and channel of cooperation and avoid unnecessary duplication. 7. Engage all types of businesses. Effective action also needs industrial part- ners, including small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We must not forget that SMEs have an important role to play in all sectors of technological develop- ment. The role of SMEs in transatlantic cooperation opportunities should be em- phasized. 8. Engage young scientists and engineers. We should involve our young scientists and engineers in transatlantic cooperation. This is a very cost-effective way of building international collaboration. It will make young researchers aware of the possibilities for cooperation as well as the challenges inherent in transat- lantic relationships that can be both complementary and competitive. On behalf of the European Commission, let me express our sincere thanks to the National Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council for the excellent arrangements for our meeting. Chairpersons and rapporteurs also de

OCR for page 94
JORMA ROUITI 97 serve our thanks for summarizing the contributions in the workshops. And all of us have enjoyed the excellent speakers from both sides of the Atlantic. I also want to thank the United States for its tradition of opening up its uni- versities to students from other countries. My country, Finland, has been fortu- nate enough to have an aggressive program of sending students to the United States. I want to express my personal thanks for the opportunity I had in the United States; many others from Europe have similarly benefited from U.S. open ness. In closing I want to talk about the brain as a model for collaboration between the United States and the European Union. Gordon Moore's speech reminds us of the increasing miniaturization of computing power, as reflected in Moore's law. Ongoing efforts, such as I300I among semiconductor manufacturers, will make smaller and more powerful chips. Before too long, shrinking chip size could mean that electronic circuitry could approach the size of neurons in the brain. The brain is still better than a computer because of superior pattern recogni- tion. For example, when we notice a person we have seen before, our brain takes one-tenth of a second to tell us whether we know that person. With each neuron connected to 10,000 other neurons by synapses, our brain can make this calcula- tion. Although today's neural networks can do some truly astounding things in completing complex tasks, not even the most advanced supercomputer today can accomplish pattern recognition with the speed and accuracy of the brain. Why can the brain work so quickly? It works so fast because it must: millions of years ago, if we did not quickly recognize a lion on the prairie, we would have been killed. Today, if we cannot recognize the truck coming around the corner at us, we are in danger. Lots of connections make the brain work so swiftly and effectively. The model of the brain is also the best model for scientific collaboration. Fostering many connections between European and U.S. scientists will be the key to mak- ing increased transatlantic S&T collaboration fruitful for both sides. Collabora- tion is increasingly the model for the economy today in which small research organizations team with large companies for production and marketing. Like the brain, however, scientific collaboration needs many neurons and a large number of connections. To take another analogy from computer science, Control Data Corporation made computers in the 1960s with some of the most powerful processing capa- bilities of that time. But the computer was connected to "dumb terminals" and thus greatly limited in its scope of use. Today, powerful computers involve inter- active networks of intelligent workstations. That is what we need today in our economies and our approaches to scientific work-intelligent networking.