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Home Events INNOVATION Concept and relation with R&D


Wednesday, April 9th, 2008 from 18.00-20.00

The Brussels-EU Chapter and the European Support Centre of the Club of Rome are pleased to invite you to the 49th Aurelio Peccei Lecture at the The Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium of Sciences and Arts

INNOVATION Concept and relation with R&D

Dr. Spyros Konidaris

former Director, European Commission

Accumulated dramatic scientific and technological progress and notably Information and Communication Technologies in the 20th Century lead to such a profound discontinuity with the existing ’Industrial age’ model that a transition to a new era, the Information Age (often Information Society) was declared...

About the Topic

The Information Age happens to coincide with new socio-economic and political patterns grouped under the collective name ’Globalisation’ and making things even more complicated. A gradual awareness of environmental issues (climate, resources, pandemic threats etc.) started, at last, to be seriously recognised as vital issues.
Transition from one specific era to another results in a (creative) chaos requiring new models, ideas and ’tools’. The model of linear evolution breaks down; a lot has to be un-learned.

Historically, mankind, since its early days, turns to Innovation building a new panoply of means: from the fire and the wheel in the pre-industrial Age to steam and electricity in Industrial Age etc.

A model of Innovation as a resultant of three components Education-R&D-Ideas is presented, taking into account the environment in which these activities are embedded. A deeper analysis of the role of R&D in relation to Innovation is included.

About the Speaker

Graduated the University of Athens (BSc in Physics) and received his Master of Technology and Doctor of Philosophy Degrees in Microelectronics and Optoelectronics in Brunel University London, UK.

He did post-doctoral work in the ‘Institute for Telecommunication Studies’ (Boulder- Colorado) and at the ‘Optical Sciences Center’ (University of Tucson-Arizona) on Fiber Optics.

He worked as a researcher in the Research Department of the Greek Telecoms Organization and held positions as a Ministerial advisor in Telecommunications Policy and Technology. In 1985 he joined the European Commission. (RACE and ACTS Telecommunications R&D Programmes) and was Acting Director of the ACTS Programme in its final phase.

With the launching of the Information Society Programme (IST) he was appointed Acting Director responsible for the Research Networks, Future and emerging Technologies, Trans-European Networks, Programme Strategy, International relations, as well as the Programme administration. During that period he had the privilege to launch major activities such as the GEANT Network (Interconnection of Research and Academic Networks in Europe and beyond), and GRIDs, seeing Europe to take the Global leadership and international recognition in these areas.

Between Sept 2001 and May 2002 he was in the USA as a ‘Visiting European Union Fellow’ (University of Pittsburgh. Until September 2001 he was Advisor to the Deputy General Director in the DG/INFSO. He retired in Sept 2005.


The slides of the presentation are available for download (900 kB)

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