BERLIN, September 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
EIB President Hoyer: EU must tackle the gap in competitiveness - Investment in innovation is key
Two internationally renowned European scholars in the field of managerial and technological innovation were awarded the EIB Prize for excellence in economic research. Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank, presented the prize to Professor Nicholas Bloom from Stanford University and Professor John Van Reenen from the London School of Economics and Political Science during a ceremony at Freie Universität Berlin yesterday evening. Georg Schütte, State Secretary in the Federal Research Ministry, called the work a significant contribution to the discussion of growth.
The 'EIB Outstanding Contribution Award' - a EUR 40 000 prize - acknowledges the two scientists' pioneering research on the effects of innovation on economic performance and inequality as well as their impact on public policy.
In his address, EIB President Werner Hoyer praised the scholars' significant research on factors driving productivity inside businesses. "Professor Bloom's and Professor Van Reenen's work shows that the positive effect of technology spillovers is far greater than the negative effects of business being lost to market rivals. This is a significant result and implies that, if left alone, firms may invest too little in R&D. This gives direct justification to strong financial support of R&D projects, by the Bank and/or Member States, as is the case here in Germany." President Hoyer underlined the importance of innovation and management for growth and the wealth of nations: "Research that helps us understand the incentives to innovate at the company level is therefore paramount."
The EU Bank's role, as mandated by its shareholders, the 28 EU member states, would reflect the shift from tackling the competitiveness gap between European regions caused by lack of basic infrastructures to, increasingly, addressing the gap between Europe and the rest of the world caused by under-investment in research and innovation.
Professor John Van Reenen, the Recipient of the Outstanding Contribution Award, presented in his ensuing lecture the challenges Europe is facing. Successes in European integration - the EU is the largest single market in the world - would be thwarted by continuously slow growth. Yet productivity and innovation could rekindle growth. "Major improvements are possible and desirable if opportunities are seized through structural reforms. However, these structural reforms must be accompanied by accommodating monetary and fiscal policies," Van Reenen emphasised.
In his concluding remarks, Georg Schütte, State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, called the laureates' applied research timely and crucial. "Your findings illustrate the close interdependence of growth and innovation. This resonates well with what we call qualitative growth - growth that is firmly grounded in education, research and innovation. The EIB Prize helps accentuate this qualitative dimension. It also points to the wealth and accomplishments of European research."
The European Investment Bank is the long-term lending institution of the European Union and its shareholders are the EU Member States. Its remit is to make long-term finance available for viable projects in order to contribute to EU policy objectives.
In 2012, the EIB Institute (EIBI) was created in order to promote European initiatives for the common good. It does this through three programmes relating to knowledge, the social dimension, and arts and culture. The Knowledge Programme supports initiatives in the field of education, research and innovation. Philippe de Fontaine Vive Curtaz is the Chairperson of the EIBI's Supervisory Board.
The EIB Prize is an economics award created in 2013 by the EIB Institute to recognise and stimulate excellence in economic and social research, and its implementation and diffusion. Research considered for the prize is of specific relevance to European development and integration.
The jury, presided over by Sir Christopher Pissarides, Professor, London School of Economics and Political Science, 2010 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, was composed of: Professor Philippe Aghion, Professor of Economics at Harvard University; Sir James Alexander Mirrlees, Nobel Memorial Prize Laureate in Economic Sciences; Professor Gianmarco Ottaviano, Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Director of the Globalisation Programme at the Centre for Economic Performance (LSE) and Professor Reinhilde Veugelers http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/about/Pages/people/biographies/bean.aspx, Professor at KU Leuven (BE) at the Department of Management, Strategy and Innovation.
Professor John Van Reenen has been Director of Europe's leading applied economics research centre, the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP), since 2003. He is also a Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and fellow of the British Academy.
Professor Nicholas Bloom, co-recipient of the 2014 EIB Prize, is a Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR) as well as Professor of Economics at Stanford University. He is also an Associate of the Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science and a Co-Director of the Productivity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Programme, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).
SOURCE European Investment Bank