Society, the Endless Frontier: A European Vision of Research and Innovation Policies for the 21st Century

Article excerpt

Society, The Endless Frontier: A European vision of research and innovation policies for the 21st century;

Paraskevas Caracostas and Ugur Mulder; The European Commission, Directorate-General XII, Science, Research and Development-Brussels; 202 pp., ECU 16.50 from Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, L-2985 Luxembourg.

This study describes the economic and geopolitical background against which the fifth Framework Programme for research and technological development is being discussed by the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament. The authors-economists in the Directorate General for Science, Research and Development-analyze the relationships currently forming between research and the various facets of social activity, and describe how the fifth Framework Programme, by using a new approach based on the concept of "key actions," is endeavoring to take account of these new relationships in order to equip Europe with the level and quality of research it needs.

A watershed was reached in 1995 with the start of widespread debate in Europe on the learning society and the obstacles to innovation, and with the introduction, in European measures to aid research, of new approaches that allowed Europe's scientific and technological resources to be harnessed to address major economic and social problems. Part One of this study gives a systematic description of these debates and initiatives. Part Two analyzes indicators and key statistics that illuminate the dynamics of European research and innovation in the world context. …