Poland, Spain, Hungary and a coalition of Austria-Slovakia are jockeying to be the home of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). The EIT is a cherished dream of JosÃ© Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, who believes it would help Europe catch up with more innovative competitors in high tech, such as the US.
The EIT will employ only 60 people, according to the Financial Times, but a great deal of prestige and inward investment is involved. The EIT will have a total budget of â‚¬2.4 billion, with â‚¬309 million (US$481 million, Â£245 million) in EU funding and the rest, it is hoped, provided by the private sector.
A special report on European innovation published today by BusinessWeek finds, "If you dig beneath the shortage of venture capital and R&D funding, there's plenty to cheer about." None of the areas it cites involve ICT technologies, however.