Over the past five years, the US shale gas boom has brought about dramatic changes in the North American energy landscape, prompting economic and environmental debate in Europe and other parts of the world. In the US, energy prices have fallen dramatically, helping drive economic recovery from the global recession. But the spread of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” – the technology used to drill for shale gas – has raised the ire of environmentalists.
Over the past five years the Science|Business Academic Enterprise Awards have thrown a spotlight on 70 of Europe’s hottest technology spin-outs. The ACES winners are individuals who created companies based on cutting-edge research.
High performance computing now underpins top class science across all disciplines and is an essential tool for industry, shortening development cycles whilst at the same time improving the reliability and quality of products.
Third generation cognitive computing is making sense of data mountains and starting to deliver remarkable improvements in healthcare. Now, sensitively calibrated data protection rules are needed – to reassure patients and protect privacy, whilst allowing progress to continue.
There are no shortage of initiatives throughout the European Union to support green vehicle technologies and sustainable fuels for road transport. But the vision of a market where low-carbon cars and fuels dominate continues to fade into the distant future. Despite more than a decade of support from many EU governments and intensive R&D by industry, “green cars” that significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions represent less than one per cent of total vehicle sales in the EU. The technology race is taking longer than expected, and the policy options are limited.
The EU Energy Roadmap is based on optimistic assumptions. An energy policy for a resilient transition requires an open and transparent reference model that is fed by a fair assessment of the cost and capabilities of (existing and future) technologies.
European researchers working to advance technology frontiers face a dilemma. To keep their academic careers on track they must publish the results of their work as quickly as possible and present scientific breakthroughs at scholarly conferences. But to reap the benefits of possible commercial applications for themselves and their universities, they must remain silent until a patent is filed.
The Annual Report 2012-2013 is a summary of the activites of the Science|Business Innovation Board over the past year. The Science|Business Innovation Board seeks to improve the climate for innovation in Europe through:new ideas in innovation policy, strategic relations between top universities and companies, and top-level dialogue with EU policy leaders. The Board, which began meeting in 2007, was founded by international business school INSEAD, ESADE Business School, and Science Business Publishing Ltd., with the support of Microsoft Corp. and BP PLC. Its membership has broadened to include Imperial College London, SKF and some key individual innovators.
The ACES, now in their fifth year, are the only pan-European awards for enterprise in university and public research institutes. They give public recognition to those researchers, engineers, professors, students and government officials in Europe who have done the most to foster a culture of enterprise on campus.