The Declaration of the European rectors: MEET THE CHALLENGE OF COMPETITIVENESS

31 01 2011

To be able to innovate, public investment is essential. It has been said the guiding of the 22 institutions that are part of the European League of research universities (LERU), in a Manifesto they have addressed to the European Council, which meets the 4 February in Brussels to lay the foundations of the policy of the 27 partners in research and innovation. There is no in the text the virulent tone of political pamphlets or the iconoclastic zeal that injected the Vanguards artistic to each of his proclamations, but is full of common sense. And it has, even, an undeniable vocation teaching.

“The research is the basis of Europe's future competitiveness”. “Innovation is a complex process”. “Unusual is that the new knowledge, obtained thanks to scientific advances, have immediate practical implications”. These are some phrases of the manifest and are, so to speak, drawer. But we must not take for granted in a Europe that conveys the sense of wandering adrift. The crisis has produced such panic that many Governments have opted to apply the scissors just in the funds allocated to the knowledge, where the future is played.

The problem is that neither the investigation nor innovation can provide immediate results, visible, they serve as politicians to remove chest and look like medal in upcoming elections. “The research of border requires patience, persistence and investments”, say the guiding. Time and money. What never denied to all those universities that, over the past centuries, they allowed Europe to placing at the forefront of science and technology.

It is not a short term vision, or business calculations of immediate benefits. One of the examples that give the guiding is eloquent. If not to break a test tube, never has had identified the enzyme that cuts viral DNA specifically. The science is very slow and many times his successes depend on random. It takes money to keep alive the research lines. Know the Chinese and Indians and knows Obama, He said in his last speech: “Innovation is our way of life”. Europe must heed its guiding.

The original manifesto can be found here.

Subscribe to this article the guiding of the European League of research universities: Dymph van den Boom (University of Amsterdam), Didac Ramírez i Sarrió (University of Barcelona), Leszek Borysiewicz (University of Cambridge), Timothy or ’ Shea (University of Edinburgh), Hans-Jochen Schiewer (University Freiburg Albert Ludwig), Jean-Dominique Vassalli (University of Geneva), Bernhard Eitel (University Heidelberg Karl Ruprecht), Thomas Wilhelmsson (University of Helsinki), Paul F. Van der Heijden (University of Leiden), Mark Waer (University of Leuven), Keith or ’ Nions (Imperial College London), Malcolm Grant (University College London), Per Eriksson (Lund University), Enrico Decleva (University of Milan), Bernd Huber (University Ludwig Maximilian Munich), Andrew Hamilton (University of Oxford), Jean-Charles Pomerol (Pierre and Marie Curie University), Guy Couarraze (University of Paris-sur), Harriet Wallberg-Henriksson (Karolinska Institute), Alain Beretz (University of Strasbourg), Hans Stoof (University of Utrecht), Andreas Fischer (University of Zurich)

Elpais.es [en línea] Madrid (Spain): elpais.es, 31 de enero de 2011 [REF. of 28 in January of 2011] Available on Internet:

http://www.elpais.com/articulo/opinion/Hagan/caso/rectores/elpepiopi/20110128elpepiopi_3/Tes