A broad-based innovation strategy for the EU

On Sept. 13, 2006 the European Commission has tabled a 10 point programme for action at national and European levels to foster innovation as a main asset of the EU economy. This will form the basis for the discussion by European leaders at the informal Summit due to take place in Lahti, Finland on 20 October 2006.

The programme points the way forward to accompany industry-led innovation with public policies at all levels as a core element of the renewed Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs. The Commission seeks to develop the concept of "lead markets" where public authorities, facilitate industry-led innovation by creating conditions for a successful market uptake of innovative products and services in a focussed way.

Primary targets are areas that respond to societal demands (e.g. areas such as transport or health, internal security, eco-innovation...). The Commission calls upon Member States to make the structural reforms necessary to deliver the results required. The Commission underlines that Europe does not need new commitments from Member States but political leadership and decisive action.

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Davantage d'étudiants optent pour l'informatique

Selon Dries Van Damme [DataNews, 11 Septembre 2006], tout semble indiquer que l'intérêt accordé à l'informatique par les nouveaux étudiants universitaires a l'an dernier atteint son niveau le plus bas. Pour la première fois depuis quelques années en effet, quasiment toutes les universités observent une hausse importante du nombre d'inscriptions en première année d'informatique.

Serait-ce un premier résultat de l'enquête d'Agoria (17 mai 2006) révelant que plus de 13.000 postes sont à pourvoir tant dans les entreprises TIC que chez les autres acteurs de la vie économique belge ?

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Café des Nattes, Sidi Bou Saïd

Dominique B. leaving the Café des Nattes at Sidi Bou Saïd, Sept. 2006

Leaving the beaches of Hammamet, Dominique B. went to Sidi Bou Saïd at the world-famed Café des Nattes.

Since August Macke's time (1914) nothing essential has changed either in the exterior or interior of this typical Moorish coffee-house. Built on the 7th century, before it became a bar, it was a Sufi temple and it still keeps the atmosphere among the silent games of dominoes, the flavored narguilés and the mint teas with pine nuts.

12:02 Posted by St Wojcik | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: sidi bou said, patrick bruel, cafe des nattes |  Facebook |


Lack of scientists and engineers in Belgium

Fiers[1] reported last year one common characteristic for the Belgian regions : lack of new graduated scientists and engineers. In 2002, for instance, the number of new graduated[2] was only 20.2% and 17.0% respectively in the Dutch and in the French community versus 26.3% in the EC ! This was not a new fact. Except in emerging countries, since decades Associations of Engineers are claiming young Europeans have dramatically turned away from engineering.

But what seems to be new is that one reason could be identified in UK. In a statement published on August 14, 2006 the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) says that problems start at secondary school, and then reverberate up the education system[3].

According to CBI Director-General Richard Lambert, the problem lies with the teachers, not the students, who he said work hard to achieve the best possible grades in the system provided. "[I]t is clear we need more specialised teachers to share their enthusiasm for science and fire the imaginations of pupils, and to persuade them to study the core individual disciplines to high levels."

Non-specialist teachers admit to a lack of confidence, expertise and training when it comes to teaching science. They are less likely go beyond the basic demands of the curriculum and to excite students. As a result, fewer pupils pursue the subject at A-level or opt to study less challenging subjects which are seen as easier to do well in, the CBI claims.

Should it be the same in Belgium ?

I didn't found evidences…

PS : In May 2006 Agoria, claimed a lack of 13.000 IT specialists in Belgium.


[1] Working paper 13-05. Innovation et R&D dans les régions belges dans une perspective européenne. J. Fiers, Juin 2005. Bureau Fédéral du Plan, Belgique.
[2] Number of new graduated scientists and engineers divided by the totality of new graduated in the Universities and High Schools.
[3] Failing education system responsible for young people's disinterest in science, claim UK business leaders. 2006-08-16. Cordis News

23:21 Posted by St Wojcik in News EN | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: belgium, engineer, scientist, entrepreneur |  Facebook |

Design week 06, Nathalie Dewez exhibition

The Belgian designer Nathalie Dewez participated to the Design week 06 at Vange, rue Américaine, 1060 Brussels (Sept. 8 to 10, 2006)

19:05 Posted by St Wojcik in Design | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: design, brussels |  Facebook |