Europe mulls tech super-university

The EC wants to know if Europe needs a new academic institution for science and IT

The EC has launched a consultation into whether the continent needs its very own institute of technology.

According to the EC, research into technology is needed to help boost employment and the economy. However, Europe's tech community is failing to translate research successes into an advantage for the region's businesses.

One proposed answer to the problem is the creation of a European Technology Institute (EIT), which could help to attract and retain the world's best tech brains, according to EC president Jose Manuel Barroso.

In a speech earlier this year, Barroso said EIT "is certainly not an attempt to reinvent the wheel. That is why, rather than trying to create a brand new institution from a blank piece of paper, we should ensure that such an institution answers the need to support and bring together the best in Europe. It should [perhaps] take the form of a network, founded on — but not taking over — some of the best universities in Europe".

One of the key objectives for the EIT could be to bring together European researchers and academics with the business community in order to commercialise the fruits of tech R&D, the EC said.

The public consultation aims to work out issues of the possible remit of EIT, its aims and structure.

Once the consultation closes in November, the EC will decide if it wants further work to be done on the concept of an EIT and a paper will be prepared for the European parliament in March next year.