'Deep Tech' to the rhythm of Gershwin: technological sovereignty in a polarized world | Technology | EUROtoday

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My favourite instance for example the connection between technological innovation and protection will not be a weapons system: it’s a piano manufactured since 1942 by the distinguished agency Steinway & Sons for the American military. With three peculiarities: it’s camouflage inexperienced, it’s constructed with steel and it was designed to be dropped by parachute on the European entrance. On the chilly winter nights of 1945, some American battalion celebrated its advance in direction of Berlin to the rhythm of Gershwin.

Wars have been, for so long as we have now data, highly effective sources of technological innovation. Radar and penicillin, developed in World War II, gave solution to nuclear vitality and house applied sciences in the course of the Cold War – the house race, marked by the victory of the Apollo 11 program, was simply one other type of battle between the United States and the USSR―. So Steinway's Victory Vertical pianos might look like an anecdote, however they mirror the power of a conflict economic system to develop progressive options to unmet wants. And they’re additionally an excuse to face a vital debate in a polarized world: that of European strategic autonomy in essential applied sciences, that’s, that of technological sovereignty. A debate fueled by European dependence on provides and vitality, so evident with the Covid-19 disaster and the battle in Ukraine, and more and more essential within the face of the rising technological rivalry between China and the United States.

The EU has been betting on a challenge-oriented R&D coverage for fifteen years and proposing innovation missions for six. With uneven outcomes, maybe as a result of the inspiring mannequin of those missions – exactly the Apollo 11 program – didn’t match within the peaceable Europe of 2018. It will not be essential to be at conflict for an innovation mission to bear fruit, however it’s essential to share a way of urgency . Scientific success in opposition to the pandemic reminds us that focused R&D works greatest once we face an existential problem – a being or to not be – and that, ultimately, it generates dividends. It is sufficient to ponder how messenger RNA applied sciences illuminate new gene therapies to grasp that innovation missions produce spillovers: purposes with curiosity past the preliminary goal. The subsequent time you attain for an vitality bar, do not forget that you owe it to the Apollo program.

Understand me. I don’t need to say that the 5 European innovation missions, which have generated quite a few replicas within the Member States, are usually not pressing. Decarbonizing 100 European cities or restoring the oceans by 2030 is important, but it surely mobilizes much less will and assets than an instantaneous existential problem. Because that's what we're speaking about. As High Commissioner Josep Borrell typically repeats: Europe is at risk. We face a hostile state of affairs by which safety more and more occupies the agenda of political leaders and, for the primary time, technological sovereignty begins to maneuver to the middle of the controversy, with the tailwind of the brand new European industrial coverage. A shared imaginative and prescient emerges that deep applied sciences, deep techare usually not solely a promise of financial prosperity, however a key to our safety.

This finish of the European mandate is forging an settlement to put money into essential deep tech, ranging from the identification of these by which the EU ought to have its personal management. We discuss, amongst others, about quantum applied sciences, biotechnologies, semiconductors and, in fact, synthetic intelligence. As a primary step, in February an settlement was reached to launch the Strategic Technologies Platform for Europe (STEP), which can mobilize numerous neighborhood funds to advertise tasks that can have a seal of sovereignty.

Other European nations have already launched their very own methods deep tech, typically embedded in broader innovation or entrepreneurship insurance policies. That is why the announcement by the Minister of Science, Innovation and Universities, in the beginning of the legislature, that Spain can have its personal technique for the event of the deep tech. A method that ought to determine nationwide leaders, align devices that exist already in our R&D&I coverage and, no doubt, deploy others that enable probably the most promising tasks to achieve the market sooner.

It won’t be straightforward, as a latest discussion board organized by Retina and Transfer recalled. Generating personal management in disruptive applied sciences isn’t, as specialised traders who function with excessive risk-high reward logic know. Recognizing our progress in recent times, from the tradition of academic-business collaboration to the maturity of specialised enterprise capital, is an effective begin. Remembering the transformative energy of public funding, directed at shared challenges and guided by a way of urgency, is one other key. No one is aware of for positive which tune will find yourself triumphing within the applied sciences most crucial to European safety, however we shouldn't let anybody play it for us.

Diego Moñux Chércoles He is managing companion of Science & Innovation Link Office and member of the Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Board

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