1 ECMI and European Strategic Scenarios
The European Union has committed itself to strategic initiatives promoting open and transparent flow of knowledge and innovative processes. European Research Area (ERA) is aimed at making Europe a place where scientific research, technological development and innovation thrive in order to address the major challenges of our times. http://ec.europa.eu/research/era The European Higher Education Area (EHEA) is the main objective of the Bologna Process and is meant to ensure more comparable, compatible and coherent systems of higher education in Europe. http://www.ehea.info/ In a recent CEPS report (Centre for European Policy Studies http://aei.pitt.edu/14482/) the following statement (by Maria Anvret) captures the mission “Today, nothing is more important for the re-launch of the EU project than unleashing the potential for EU competitiveness through innovation”. A recently published EU 2020 agenda defines a strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. http://ec.europa.eu/eu2020/indexen.htm At the focal plane of the European Research and Innovation Strategy are key enabling technologies. These are defined by the following features: They are i) knowledge-intensive; ii) associated with highly-skilled employment; iii) multi-disciplinary, cutting across many technology areas; iv) create multiplier effects v) enable innovation, and are of systemic relevance to economies. The above description puts mathematics clearly on the global (and hopefully European) strategic map. Mathematics, modelling and computational simulation presents a novel technological paradigm which satisfies all criteria of an enabling technology. It provides a framework for the analysis, optimization, and control of industrial processes. The promotion of European collaboration and network effects in industrial mathematics is obviously aligned with the European strategies (ERA and EHEA). ECMI has been acting in this spirit for a full decade prior to these formal strategy statements. The common challenge for industry and the mathematical community is to inseminate corporate foresight by translating trends in future research into the real world of strategic management.