The EIT is not a bad idea, but it is not good enough – article in the FT

Certainly, better networking and distribution of knowledge is an important part of efforts to vitalise European science and to develop a competitive knowledge economy. Establishing a new institution will risk eroding the status and the human and economic resources in today’s leading institutions and does not look to be the best way to do that.

Another and better way would be to ensure that the best institutes and research programmes of today can attract more researchers and get better funding in order to stand out while increasing the mobility of European researchers.

My proposal, as I will present in the parliament’s work on the 7th Framework programme, would introduce a voucher system that follows researchers, mainly graduated doctors, when they chose to go to an institute or faculty in another member state to study and to pursue research.

This voucher would not only finance the researcher’s costs and wage but also add to the research budget in the receiving institution. That way, the most attractive and leading science and research projects can attract more competent and cutting-edge researchers but also get better funding, on their own merits.

This would be a step forward based on the encouraging experiences we have of the Marie Curie programme.

It would increase the mobility of researchers in Europe, strengthen leading institutions and disciplines, encourage national authorities to secure the attractiveness of their institutions and excellence in different fields of science and would mean a great step forward to bring together cross-border academics and disseminate knowledge all over the EU without compromising the goal of global centres of excellences.

This would contribute to a number of European institutes of science wherever they are established.