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THE GO3JERNtIENT ROLE IN RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT: THE CAS E OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY Frango is Lafos`taine* Delegation of the Commiss ion of ache European Communities At first glance, tie United S tates and ache countries of the European Community seem deco share a common attitude Coward the need to sponsor science and technology. According to the latent figures (for calendar year 1981, to be published soon by Eurostat ), U.S. and European Community gross domestic expenditures for science and technology, expressed as a percentage of gross domestic product, are similar: close to 2 percent for the European Community ~ the average of the ten member states), and close to 2.5 percent for the United S rates . For ache Uni ted Kingdom and Germany, the respective figures are 2.42 percent and 2.49 percent. Nevertheless, the aggregate value for the European Community overshadows large discrepancies among member states. Only two countries ~ the United Kingdom and Germany) have higher than ~ 2 percent ratio; in France, it is j ust 2 percent in the Netherlands, close to i. 9 percent; and at-: the other countries, l.4 percent or below. In the United S traces, as in the European Community, the government and the priorate sector share equally in the financial burden of promoting science and technology The average government share of the total gross domestic expenditures is 48 percent for the European Community, a figure similar deco that for the United S tates . The government share varies among members; it goes up to 70 percent for such countries as Ireland and Greece, and as low as 30 percent for Belgium, where industry involvement in funding research and developmen~c (R&D ~ is particularly intense . Three European countsies--Germar~y, France, and the United Kingdom--emerge as ache ~ argest supporters of science and technology. In 1983, their combined government funding for R&D reached more than * This paper was commiss toned in a much shorter period of time than the other papers requested for this workshop. It is therefore to be considered as a sta~cemen~c of the author's views and not as a research paper with formal documentation.
3') percent of the aggregate government funding for R&D of all ten member stances; Italy and Ache Netherlands together spent another 15 percent, leaving only 5 percent for the six other member states. Although the European Community and the United States share a similar attitude coward the need for government and ~ ndustry support of R&D, differences exist on how to achieve that goal. Discrepancies also exist among the member states of ache European Community on the extent to which they wail combine efforts toward such an ate: ecti~re. Some of these differences are highlighted in Me following sections a THE PRIMARY ROl ~ OF GOVERNMENTS IN SPONSORING HIGHER EDUCATION Among the nations of Europe, there is ~ common attitude toward the role of government in sponsoring higher education. Nearly al.1 European uni~rersit~es are government sponsored, and higher education is access ible, nearly free of charge, to any European citizen enj oying the required aptitudes to engage in it . All member states fund the ~i~rers~ies within their national boundaries. There is little mobility or competition Song universities of difference member states; each one operates within ~ is national territory. In an effort to provide a regional approach to higher scientific education, the European Communi ty launched, in 1981, a program to stimulate cooperation and scientific and technical- interchange among European universities The aim was to enhance multidisciplinary research in a pl~urina~cional framework by pairing research Learns from universities (and also from private or goverrua~ent I&boratories). The program has been highly successful and will be pursued. Another in~ceresting activity, proposed by the Commission of the European Communities in 1985, is a Program called Community in Education and Training for Technology (COMETT), designed taco encourage cooperation between universities asked industry in training young scientists and engineers in high-technalogy specialties needed by European industry. The program will protrude a European dimension to ache university- industry cooperative relationship that exists already in several member states. Also, the program will set up a European ne two ric of university-industry training partnerships, cofinance pro] ects involving team from save ral member states, and promote the exchange of experts and consul tents. In addition, there are activities that operate on a national level. Since July 1933, a program in Belgium has been reinforcing the scien~cific potential of new technologies by ensuring training in those technologies at universities. Between 200 and 300 engineers and scientists now are enjoying such training; whenever possible, the 76
training is conducted with industry involvement . S imilar initiatives exist irt other member states. In scary, there is no basic difference in how Europeans and Americans feel about government sponsorship of higher education. But, for many years, American universities have been operating in a competitive market of 250 million inhabitants, whereas European univers ivies have been operating mainly in their much smaller national environments. However, several European initiatives-°not at all limited to the examples presented- - are at work to give a European dimens ion to the na~ctonal higher education sys tem. MILITARY RESEARCH ~I) ITS IMPACT ON THE CIVILIAN SECTOR Although military research is not ache maj or focus of aches paper, ~t would be a serious omission not to mention that there. is, in military research, a maj or -difference between Europe and the United States . Within the member stares of the European Community, only no countries have significant military R&~) programs: the United Kingdom and France. Their military programs account, respectively, for 49 and 3 2 percent of all government - funded R&D programs . The aggregate amount of the military R&D programs of the ten members states is Less than 2S percent of their total R&O programs (Eurosta~c figure). In the United Stances, the importance of the military program is much greater. Me relative share of Chat program has increased dramatically in the last few years to reach nearly 70 percent of ache tomcat UO S ~ federal R&D budget in 1985 . The impact of military research on the U.S. civilian sector will be discussed in "rest detail at this conference. Cat impact should not be underestimated because an important slice of UOS. military research is generic in nature and not necessarily restricted to military matters. In the European countries, ache impact of military R&D is much smaller. Fistic, most military research in the member states is not generic in na~cure or dual purpose. Second, its relative importance is much smaller. Third, became the research deals with specific military problems, generally it is not shared among the industries of the various member states of the European Community. In spry, U.S. military R&D has a larger impact on the U.S. civilian sector than is true in Europe. Often, the U.S. military R&D program is perceived by Europeans as a promotional program to help UO S . high-technology industry. A similar program does not exist in the European Community. 77
PU3L1c ID PRIVATE SECTOR FENDING - - ME COOPERATIVE SPIRIT There are no s igrtificant differences between the United S tates and the European Community with regard to the respective role of ache government and the private sector in funding research and development e As already mentioned 9 each source of funding, government and priorates shares nearly 50 percent of the total national gross domestic expenditure. On both continents, governments generally fund basic or generic research, as well as research to support regulatory requirements, while industry generally funds applied research. Also, on both sides of the Atlantic, more and more pro; ects are co funded by government, industry, and universities. Today, funding of R&D by the Commission of the European Communi~cies is generally limited to 50 percent of the proj ecu more and more, funding is granted only when there is cooperation between entities ~ industries, universities, research establishments) from two or more countries. Generally, the cooperative spirit between government and incus try, or be tween ~ ndus try and incus Very, is flourishing today in Europe. Me drive toward cooperative research also exists in the United States, although the modalities of cooperation may differ. DISPARITIES WITHIN THE EUROPEAN COMISUNI1:Y COUNTRIES ON ME IMPORTANCE OF R&D IN PUBLIC POLICY--l~E EUROPEAN DIMENSION In ache European Community, three countries are ache main promoters of research: Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. As already mentioned, the total government funding for R&D for those countries reaches more Ocean 80 percent of the aggregate government funding for R&D of all tert member stases a The difference in the role of these three outcries and that of the ocher partners might be lessened if barriers deco the transfer of scientific and technological knowledge were reduced or if multinational cooperation within Europe increased. It is difficul~c to assess the extent of multinational cooperation. Funding of research activities at ache Centre European de Recherche Nucleaire (CERISE'), the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), the Commission of the European Communities (CEC), and other multinational ventures amounts to roughly 10 percent of the total government support of the ten member states for science and technology; of that amount, 50 percent is devoted to space. Such figures indicate that R&D in the European Community is still a very na~cionally oriented activity. Given the language and cultural 78
barriers that exist among members scales, one would suspect that there is little transfer of knowledge from one country to another Nevertheless, there are a number of areas where research is organized. wi thin a European dimens ion. These include: Space (ESA), High energy physics (CERN), Molecular biology (EMBO), Nuclear fusion energy (CEC), Nuclear radioactive was te ~ CEC ), Solar energy ~ CEC), Information technology ~ CEC ), · En~riro~ental research (CEC), and Aeronautics . Further, ache 10 percent figure for the share of government support dedicated to inte`,~ational activities may be an underestimation. Activities at ache CEC level and in the other mul~cinational organizations are not funded at 100 percent centrally; projects require marching funds from na~cional governmen~cs or from industry on "he order of 50 percent or more. Moreover, such programs as Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) give national pro] eats the opportunity deco ~ oin forces and to operate in a European framework wi~chou~c any financial participation from the CEC. One could guess, therefore, that it&l) activities conducted within a European framework may be quantified at L5 to 20 percent of those operating under a national umbrella. In summary, R&D funding within Europe is organized mainly on a na~cional basis; science and technology activities are not conducted with ache wide participation that exists in the United States. Forces are working within Europe toward a more integrated science and technology policy, but it will take time before science and technology en; oy a true European dimension. NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS: A U.S. SUCCESS STORY lye Na~cional Bureau of Standards (NBS), established by the U.S. Congress in 1901, has been given ache mission of providing support to U. S. industry and commerce. The NBS is fulfilling this task successfully by helping ensure the compatibility of measurement _ 79 _
standards needed by U.S. industry and by the U.S. scientific community. Such standards provide the basis for the exchange of goods, the accurate specification of products and their quality contra 1, the equitab le enforcement of environmental re gulations, and the establishment of adequate guidelines for the protection of public heal th and safety . The NBS has buil~c the corners tone of the competi~ci~reness of U. S . industry by developing industrial standards commonly used in the United S farces O Further, NBS is performing Inca tasic at the forefront of ache technologies, well before they appear in the marketplace. In each member state of the European Community, there is a metrology institute, which operates like the U. S. National Bureau of S tandards but on a much smaller scale O lithe Commission of the European Communities also is working actively in this field. Its activity started many years ago in the nuclear material sector, where, in fact, the CEC collaborates with the U. S . National Bureau of S~an~rds in the establishment of uranium scandals. S&car~dardiza~cion activities have been expanded to several other sectors within the framework of ache European Central Bureau of Reference' in which national organizations are cooperating. lye main actions of ache Commission of the European Co=ities have been to help European measurement offices compare techniques and exchange knowledge. Unfortunately, lisle tasic sharing occurs between th.e national .orfices. A=d9 funding limitations preven~c national offices from engaging in reference measurements on new products or new high technologies when they are at the research or development stage, before their appearance on the market. Nevertheless, coilabora~cion today is excellent between na~cionai metrology laboratories, and the measurement system in Europe is rather homogeneous O The current ob; ecti~re of the European Community in supporting collabora~cion is deco eliminate any remaining discrepancies O But, indua~crial standardization is performed mainly at the national level, and the European Common Market remains derided on standards issues. Since 1983, ache CEC has made a renewed effort Deco eliminate technical standardiza~cion obstacles to the achtevemen~c of a true European Common Market; recently, computerized teleco=ications standards have been tackled at the regional petrel. In spry, although the goals for a European Common Marker were set down more than 25 years ago, Europe still lacks an effective policy toward the use of common technical standards. While some progress has been made, the lack of generally enforced colon standards remains an important impediment deco Ache growth of European incus try ~ 80
SOME NATIONAL AND MULTINATIONAL INITIATIVES TO PROMOTE HIGH- TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRIES Often, i ~ is perceived in ache United S tates that European governments have a more aggress ive policy or a more direst invol~remen~c in the promotion of new high-technology industries. Indeed, European governments are active in promoting ache following~industries: Nuclear energy, mainly the fast breeder reactor (mostly France, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, and ache Benelux countries ); the high- temperature reactor (mostly Germany); and the Joint European Torus (JET) fusion facility (C£C); Aircraft, evident in the military sector ~ France, the Unlaced Kingdom) and ache civilian sector ~ Concorde , Airbus ); · Space, including transport systems (such as the Ariane launch vehicle) and space laboratory infrastructure (such as Spacelab ); Computers , including the Plan Filiere Elec~cronique ~ France ); International Computer Limited (JCL) and the Alvey Program (United Kingdom); and the Bundes Ministering fur Forschung unG Technologie (BM=) program (Ge, ~any); and Telecommunications, including satellite telecommunications and direct ~cele~ris ion broadcas tiny ~ France ~ . These promotional activities have been highly visible. However, one may observe two pa ints: . European governments promote high-technoloy industry when a colon market is prerequisite to its growth and when such a market is still lacking within the European Commuz~ity. Some of the industries listed above are linked with military obj ectives, and it is not surprising that go~re~`u~ents are active in areas related to national defense requirements. A s imilar attitude toward the need for government promotion of high-~cachnology industries exists in the United States. However, promotion is less direct and more disguised, sometimes under the umbrella of the Department of Defense (DOD) or the National Aeronautics and Space Administra~cion (NASA) . As an example, ache U. S . semiconductor and computer incus-tries were helped enormously in their early days by DOD, and lacer by NASA. The DOD's Very High Speed Integrated Circuit program surely will help U.S. industry. 81
RECE~r INITIATIVES OF THE COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES One of the weak points of European technology is the computer sector, where the European market is invaded by Japanese and American products. Such massive flow of foreign high technology, in a vital field of the economy, has, been considered politically intolerable by Me Europeans. For that reasons several member states have launched national programs in computer R&D and9 in 1984, the Commission of the European Communi ties launched the European Strategic Progr~mme5for Research and Development in Informa~cion Technologies ~ ESPRIT) . Further, the CEC urges the European compu~cer industry to exploit the full dimens ion of the European Common Market . Me ESPRIT program is aimed arc the development of generic technologies in microelectronics, software, tata processing, office systems, and computer in~cegrated manufacturing. Trough ESPRIT, the CEC will fund 750 million European currency units (Ec',.~) over fire years; contrac~cors ~ industry, national research establishments , or national governments) wit 1 add an equivalent amount. At present, ache ESPRIT program appears to be a great success, and colon ventures are talcing shape between priorate electronic firms of different European countries. Never~cheless, it is still too early to know whether ache European computer industry wil.l enjoy a revival in this very competitive libido The first signs of such a renaissance may be some of these newly created ~ oin~c ventures: · The agreement of 12 leading European manufacturers on computer standards; The joint R&D canter in Munich, funded by Siemens, Bull, and JCL; and · T5Q announcement of the European Silicon Structure, a major venture to manufacture custom- des igned chips . Another initia~ci~re, the Basic Research in Industrial Technologies (BRITE) program, begun in January 1985, is aimed at developing teas ic generic ~cechnologies needed for traditional. indus~cries . Through the BRIDE program the European Community will fund 125 million Ecus for the period 1985-1988, to which industry will add an identical amount. The program is focused on generic technologies related to materials and manufacturing systems (mainly for products made from flexible materials). Both the ESPRIT and the BRITE programs are carried out by contracts with industry, research institutes, or universities in ache European Community. Normally, research ins~citu~ces and universities participate in conjunc~cion with industrial organizations from more than one member state. Thus, the focus of these programs is on cooperation: intra-European cooperation between governments, industries, and universities. - 82
FI=URE ACTIlIITIES President Reagan's launch of the Strategic Defense Initiative and proposal to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries to cake part in it gave rise9 within the European countries, to the perception that Europe would lag behind in technology if no R&D were conducted on a European level. In response, the EUREKA initiative was endorsed at the European Community summit ire Milan in June 198S, as was a communication from the CEC to ache Council. of Ministers of the European Community on the s trengthening of technical cooperation in Europe . The EUREKA initiative was endorsed further at a ministerial meeting in Paris in July 1985 where9 besides the European Community member stares ~ including Spain and Portugal), Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, and Aus~cria also were represented. The EUREKA program will consist of a collection of civilian projects in high ~cechnology. . At the Hanover ministerial meeting on November 5 - 6, 1985, 18 European governments agreed to increase Europe' s technological presence through the development of ten proj ects ~ chosen from several hundred proposals ~ . lye ten proj ects are: Production of a standard microcomputer for education and domestic use ~ the participants in the proj ect are the United Kingdom , France , and I taly ); Production of a new type of computer chip made of amorphous, or uncrystallized, silicon (France and West Germany); Development of a high-speed computer (France and Norway); Development of a laser for cutting cloth in the apparel Undue try (France and Portugal); Development of membranes for water filtration deco desalinate seawater (Denmark and France); · Development of high°power laser systems (West Germany, France, I~cal~y, and the United Kingdom); · Development of a system to trace pollutants in European air (Uest Germany, Austria, Finiand, the Netherlands, Norway, and the European Community); Development of a European research computer network (Uest Germany, Austria, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and ache European Economic Community; 83
. Development of a diagnostic kit for sexually transmitted diseases ~ Spain and the IJnited Kingdom); and · Development of advanced optic electronics (France and Italy) For its part, the Commission of the European Communities has handed to ache Council of Minis~cer, Inca proposition, Towards a European Technological Co=i ~y O lye message is that it is now cime: o To realize fully the ideals of the European Common Maricet--to eliminate the last barriers to this ob; ective by promoting common s tandards; · To promote cooperation between European industrial firms; and · To promote a European technological communi~cy. Me last goal will be achieved by building upon CEC's experience with its present R&D program and through increased cooperation with member states in the formulation of a European science asked technology policy. lathe science and technology budget of the European Community also is expected to increase- - it could double over the next two to four years. lotus, in Europe, the role of science ant eech.nology will be perceived as more and more important for economic growth and general human well-being, and go~rernment--and probably industry--wili pay more and more attention to this role. Further, science and technology activities will be integrated more. on ~ European basis and will enj oy Me benefit of ache European dimension. CONCLUSIONS The United States and ache European Co=nity country es share a common attitude toward the need deco sponsor science and technology. Both are dedicating a similar share of their gross domes tic product to ache promotion of science and technology, and the financial burden is shared equally between the government and the priorate sector. On both continents, governments generally furled higher education, basic science at universi~cies, and generic as well as regulatory and military research, while industry generally funds applied research. European government sponsorship of R&D is realized rainily in a national envi Torment; activities organized at the level of the European Community or at a broader European leered do not exceed IS deco 20 percent of the Scotch activities sponsored by go~rernmen~cs. Some sectors, such as space, nuclear energy, and aviation, enjoy a much stronger collaboration hong European partners. 84
The United States has a much more impor~can~c mill tary R&D program than the European nations hare; U. S O industry is perceived as having benefited from this program much more than European industry has benefited from s imilar military programs in Europe . To a lesser extent, this also may be true of the NASA space program In addition, European industry is hampered by the lack of colon industrial standards; this is not the case for U. S . industry, which has enjoyed a vast colon marice~c for many years. European governments are sponsoring high°technology intus fries ac~civel~y. The degree of government in~rolvemen~c seems to be s imilar Deco Chat of the U. S . government. There exists in Europe today a belief that something has to be done if Europe does not want Deco lag behind ache United S tates or Japan in high technology. One may foresee that governments will increase their concerti about the need to sponsor science and technology, and ache collaboration among governmen~cs, between government and industry, and hong industries will increase in the near future. The main difference between the science policy of the United States and that of Europe may be explained by history. The United States has been a unified country for many years, while the European countries have fought each other for most of their history, until nearly half a century ago . Indeed 9 they have j us ~ learned how to cooperate in the last 25 years. Only recently have national science policies in Europe begun to interact, converge more and more, and sometimes world together toward the she goals. 8:
NOTES ANI) REFERENCES 1. As of November 1985, the ten member states of the European Community were Belgium, Denmark9 ache Federal Republic of Germany, Frances Greece, Ireland9 Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Community on January 1, 1986. . Spain and Portugal j oined the European EUROSTAT. Government Financing of Research and Development 1975-1983. ISBN 92-825~4498-2. Luxembourg: Office of Official Publications of the European Communities, 1984. 3. STIMULATION. Council decision of March 12, 1985 - 8S/197/Ei:C. Official Jou ~ `.al of the European Com=i Hi es, No . OJ L 8 3 (March 2S, 198S ), pp . 13 - IS . 4 0 COMER . Proposal for a Council Decis ion Adopting an Action Progr~mme on the Community in Education and Training for Technology, COMER (1986-1992~. COM (85) 431 final, Augus~c 1, 1985. ESPRIT. Council Decision of February 28, 1984 - 84/130/EEC. Official Journal of the European Com~runi cites, No . L 76 (March 9, 1984) pp. 54~65. 6. BRITE. Council decision of March 12, 1985 ~ 85/130/EEC. Official Journal of che Europe Communi vies, No O L 83 (March 25, 1985), pp. 8-12. 7. Towards a European Technological Con. COM (8S) 3SO final and COM (85) 530 final (Co~us~icatior~ of the Commission to the Council). - 86 -
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