Ever since the French and Dutch voters kicked the European constitution into touch, there has not been much to cheer about from Brussels. The latest spat over accession talks with Turkey hasn't helped. But now at least there may be something to cheer about. A consultation is under way on a possible European Institute of Technology ("EIT").
According to the consultation website the idea for an EIT occurred in the mid-term review of the Lisbon Strategy. The intention is to strengthen Europe’s capability in research, education and technology transfer by providing a world class teaching and research centre, facilitating co-operation with business enhancing Europe's research profile.
A short consultation paper has been published and answers are requested by 15 Nov 2005. Its purpose is to consider whether to take the idea further. The outcome of the consultation should be published early in 2006. Speaking for myself, I very much hope that ti does take off. As the consultation paper says, Europe's contribution to knowledge creation has declined significantly over the last 50 years despite rising relative prosperity. Something has got to be done to stop the rot.