Past Event

What can Europe learn from US science policy?

There were high expectations for the effect of the COMPETES Acts on the US research and innovation landscape. But were these expectations met and what can Europea learn from the US experience?

Date: April 7, 2016, 12:30 pm Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy

SUMMARY

See below for video recording and materials.

The event offered an overview of science policy from US and EU perspectives.

Historically, the US has been seen as a model for Europe, not only for its scientific achievements but also for its funding mechanisms. Greater resources are allocated to research, which seems to produce benefits for society and profitable opportunities for the private sector. Recent numbers show how levels of public spending in innovation and research remain consistently higher in the US than in Europe.

The much-praised America COMPETES Acts aimed to significantly increase federal investment in research and innovation. But is has failed to meet initial expectations. It emerges that a good proportion of the funding did not materialise and several projects therefore remained unrealised.

One should be careful when comparing EU and US science policy as they are very different in nature. A good proportion of US spending in research, for example, is destined to the defense sector. This could never happen in EU because of difficulties in political coordination and historical reasons related to the Second World War. Moreover, philanthropy plays a fundamental role in the US, giving funding opportunities to new sectors. In Europe this source is almost negligible.

Most importantly, the biggest difference is in the nature of the decision making process through which funds are allocated. In the EU this is more complex and fragmented. It entails interaction between national and central levels of governments, likely to have divergent interests and timescales. The latter issue constitutes a hurdle also in terms of future budget planning.

The discussion moved on to the evaluation of the impact of science policy. This is important and seems to be missing in the EU context, although it is beginning to emerge. Evidence based policy would provide a good incentive for governments and politicians to place research and innovation in their agenda, as well as helping them to understand why this should be coordinated at the central EU level. However, the long timeframes of research impact, and the high-risk nature of both basic science and product development make meaningful short-term impact assessment difficult. It is interesting to remark that this rigorous approach to impact evaluation is also weak in the US context, which might explain some of the above-mentioned failures in the implementation of the COMPETES Acts.

Finally, from a private sector perspective, partnerships and collaborations between private and public sector are vital. They seem to be the best way to finance basic knowledge research, which can incrementally lead to inventions. One of the main challenges faced by the private sector is the difficult relationship with regulators due to a divergence in interests: while authorities and public institutions are supposed to protect society’s wellbeing, the industry is interested in obtaining commercially profitable gains from inventions.

Overall, a global approach towards research and innovation funding decisions is needed: on one hand, for the important spillovers that research can produce in a globalised context and, on the other hand, for the enormous benefits that can derive from sharing individual countries’ findings and data.

Event summary by Elena Vaccarino, Research Assistant

VIDEO RECORDING

Event Materials

Presentation | Jeff Furman

The European Union’s growing innovation divide | Reinhilde Veugelers

Schedule

Apr 7, 2016

12:00-12:30

Lunch and registration

12:30-13:00

Presentation

Jeff Furman, Associate Professor of Strategy & Innovation at Boston University and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

13:00-13:30

Panel discussion

Chair: Reinhilde Veugelers, Senior Fellow

Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, President, European Research Council

Tommy Dolan, Vice President, PharmaTherapeutics Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pfizer

Kurt Vandenberghe, Director, Policy Development and Coordination , European Commission, DG RTD

13:30-14:00

Audience Q&A

14:00

End

Speakers

Jean-Pierre Bourguignon

President, European Research Council

Tommy Dolan

Vice President, PharmaTherapeutics Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pfizer

Jeff Furman

Associate Professor of Strategy & Innovation at Boston University and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Kurt Vandenberghe

Director, Policy Development and Coordination , European Commission, DG RTD

Reinhilde Veugelers

Senior Fellow

Location & Contact

Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels

Matilda Sevon

matilda.sevon@bruegel.org

Read about event

Upcoming Event

Jul
9
12:30

Should we revisit the patent system for pharmaceutical products?

Analysis of the legal issues with the current IP system for regulated market authorisations for pharmaceutical products, as well as its economic effects.

Speakers: Margaret K. Kyle, Roberto Romandini, Bruno van Pottelsberghe, Amaryllis Verhoeven and Reinhilde Veugelers Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels
Read article More on this topic

Blog Post

Robots, ICT and EU employment

Disruptive technologies based on ICT, robots, and artificial intelligence have transformed labour markets through their important effects on employment. As the number of industrial robots continues to rise, our results imply that some measures to facilitate workforce transition and accommodate the rise of automation might be needed to maintain satisfactory labour market outcomes.

By: David Pichler, Georgios Petropoulos and Francesco Chiacchio Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: June 15, 2018
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Protecting EU firms without protectionism

Do we need more effective support for EU companies, more targeted to threatened sectors of strategic importance to the EU? Do we need to revise our competition policy rules on state aid to allow for a more strategic industrial policy support? Do we need new policy approaches to prepare for a changing global environment?

Speakers: Vincent Aussilloux, Tomas Baert, Paolo Casini, Gert-Jan Koopman, André Sapir, Reinhilde Veugelers and Focco Vijselaar Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: May 3, 2018
Read article Download PDF More on this topic More by this author

Policy Contribution

Are European firms falling behind in the global corporate research race?

The author looks at how concentrated corporate R&D is in Europe, compared with sales and employment. The US and China are more likely to produce new R&D leaders that take over some of the top positions from incumbent R&D leaders. How is the EU coping with technology shifts and creating the next generation of new leading firms?

By: Reinhilde Veugelers Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: April 12, 2018
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Bank assets and business models: addressing complexity

At this event, we discussed the lack of transparency and problems in valuing correctly significant parts bank assets in the euro area based on an extensive study by the Bank of Italy.

Speakers: Simon Ainsworth, Paolo Angelini, Josina Kamerling, Martin Merlin, Alexander Lehmann and Nicolas Véron Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: March 21, 2018
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

The future of the EU budget: MFF post-2020

Which should be the priorities for the Multiannual Fiscal Framework post 2020?

Speakers: Roger Havenith, Günther H. Oettinger, Charlotte Ruhe, Margit Schratzenstaller-Altzinger and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: March 7, 2018
Read about event

Past Event

Past Event

(How) could European safe assets be constructed?

At this event we looked at the ESRB task force’s investigation on safe assets.

Speakers: Levin Holle, Sam Langfield, Anne A. Leclercq and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, Finance & Financial Regulation Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: March 1, 2018
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Bruegel - Financial Times Forum: The future of euro-area governance

The third event in the Bruegel - Financial Times Forum series looked into the future of euro-area governance.

Speakers: Maria Demertzis, Gideon Rachman, Manfred Weber and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: February 27, 2018
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Is there life After TTIP? The future of transatlantic economic relations

The partnership between North America and Europe is becoming unsettled and uncertain. How can we deal with this new situation that threatens the prosperity and ultimately the position of North America and Europe in the global economy.

Speakers: Maria Demertzis, Daniel S. Hamilton, Luisa Santos and André Sapir Topic: Global Economics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: February 19, 2018
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

The implications of Blockchain platforms

The disruptive forces of block chain technologies in markets and industries: a European perspective

Speakers: Anna Dimitrova, Julio Faura, Georgios Petropoulos, Johan Pouwelse and Pēteris Zilgalvis Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: February 6, 2018
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Europe’s immigration and integration challenges: Financial and labour market dimensions

The event, organised by Bruegel in cooperation with the Institute for International Affairs will discuss these and related questions and will also feature the launch in Rome of the study authored by Zsolt Darvas on the impact and integration of migrants in the European Union.

Speakers: Roberto Ciciani, Zsolt Darvas, Marcela Escobari, Tatiana Esposito, Manjula M. Luthria, Carlo Monticelli, James Politi and Nathalie Tocci Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Via Mighetti 30/A, Rome, Italy Date: February 2, 2018
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Why think tanks matter in the era of digital and political disruptions

Bruegel is pleased to host this panel discussion as part of the global launch of the 2018 Global Go To Think Tank Index, published by the University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program.

Speakers: Matt Dann, Shada Islam and Hlib Vyshlinsky Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: January 30, 2018
Load more posts