The EU has long invested in research in innovation. And quite right too – because this is something essential to building a strong economy, and a strong society. Yesterday I announced two large scale programmes in particular that will benefit from that investment, on a sustained and large scale.
- The Graphene Flagship programme – looking at a new substance that could one day transform electronics – not to mention transport, healthcare or others. It really is a miracle material, the focus of a lot of research activity. In future maybe we’ll have “Graphene Valley”, instead of Silicon Valley: and maybe it will be right here in Europe.
- And the Human Brain Project, looking at how this incredible machine represents reality. Not just to better our understanding of brain diseases, but maybe also as a new model for tomorrow’s computers.
The two programmes, together involving 161 partners from 25 countries, will benefit from €1 billion each in funding from the EU and others: but the scale of the investment matches the scale of the challenge, and the huge potential pay-off.
These programmes are not just massively important – they are fascinating too. It was my pleasure to chat with the leaders of the two “Flagships” about what they’re doing – and what the world might look like in 20 years’ time, thanks to their hard work. Check out our two discussions here:
All in all this is an important reminder of how important research and innovation are to our future growth – and how much we can achieve if we work together. That’s something I hope that EU leaders remember as they debate the future EU budget next week.