News archive - Commissioner Potocnik attends the EUREKA Ministerial Conference in Ljubljana

On June 6 EU Commissioner for Science and Research Janez Potoènik participates in the EUREKA Ministerial Conference in Ljubljana. He welcomed the FYR of Macedonia as a new member to the initiative. During its chairmanship, Slovenia has worked on enlarging EUREKA further to the Western Balkan.

EUREKA is an intergovernmental network, gathering 38 members including the European Commission, created to support leading edge industrial R&D and promote cross-border cooperation.

The Ministerial Conference meeting will focus on the EUREKA revised strategy, the accession of former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to EUREKA, and EUREKA key projects.

“For more than 20 years EUREKA has contributed to the competitiveness of European industry and the fostering of trans-national cooperation. Collaboration between EUREKA and the European Commission goes back just as long, and in recent years clearly obtained a new dynamic and élan”, the Commissioner stated. “Through its revised strategy, EUREKA is clearly committing to the realisation of the European Research Area (ERA) and the promotion of the fifth freedom, the freedom of movement of knowledge, which shows that we are all on the same track. I'm also very pleased to see the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia as new member to the initiative” he added.

To read his full speach click here.

The Ministerial Conference which takes place bi-annually will discuss a whole range of issues developed during the Slovenian Chairmanship. Slovenia has notably focussed on revising the EUREKA strategy to embed the Initiatives in the European Research Area. In the context of the ERA, the Commission and EUREKA have a joint interest in strengthening the competitiveness of European industry. On numerous occasions, Member States have called for strengthened EU-EUREKA cooperation. To date, this has already resulted in close cooperation in the Joint Technology Initiatives on embedded systems (ARTEMIS) and on nanoelectronics (ENIAC); and on a joint programme aimed at supporting R&D performing SMEs (Eurostars).

The EUREKA initiative

Since 1985, the EUREKA Initiative aims to strengthen European competitiveness by promoting cross-border, market-oriented, collaborative R&D. Substantial public and private funding is being deployed through this intergovernmental network to support leading edge industrial R&D.

Through its decentralised network of national offices, and a relatively light and flexible bottom-up mechanism, EUREKA reaches many SMEs. However, funding depends on the commitment of member countries. Annually, about 1500 m€ worth of new projects is launched.

The Ministerial Conference

The EUREKA Ministerial Conference is held every other year, bringing together ministers from each EUREKA member country and the European Commissioner. The Ministerial Conference is the political body of EUREKA, which lays down political guidelines and officially announces the new EUREKA projects endorsed during the previous Chairmanship years. Ministers also take decisions on the further development of EUREKA and give approval on the admission or dismissal of members.

For more information about EUREKA:

Source: europa rapid press release IP/08/901

Entry created by Elke Dall on June 12, 2008
Modified on June 12, 2008