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On 27 October 2010, EARTO presented the findings of an independent study on the role and impact of European Research and Technology Organisations (RTOs) – the first of its kind at European level. The study, conducted by the Technopolis Group, demonstrates that RTOs are key actors in the European innovation system. It estimates their annual economic impact in Europe at up to €50 billion. The report also highlights RTOs’ importance in tackling key societal challenges. However, the report states that governments are failing to fully leverage the innovation capability of RTOs and makes a number of important recommendations to fully exploit their potential.

The study was released at the award ceremony for the 2010 EARTO Innovation Prize, which went this year to the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft for its highly efficient concentrator module for solar panels. Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn presented the 2010 EARTO Innovation Prize to the winning team, after sharing her thoughts on future direction of European research and innovation policies with the audience. The winning innovative technology has already transformed the future of solar power by doubling the efficiency of solar panels compared to conventional silicon-based cells. It is a good example of how RTOs can exploit and adapt research effectively for the benefit of society and the economy.

The report explains that RTOs build bridges between basic research and practical applications, working with both universities and enterprises to find practical solutions to key societal challenges, from security of energy supply to resource scarcity or healthy ageing. They have a track record of increasing the rate of innovation in Industry by enabling companies to go beyond the limits of their internal technological capabilities. They significantly contribute to economic growth through more effective exploitation of research and adaptation of existing and new technologies for specific applications.

To read the full, original article click on this link: EARTO | Independent Report Demonstrates Major Social and Economic Impact of Research and Technology Organisations