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This post contains the full proceedings of the 2008 Rendez-vous de l’INRIA, which took place on 28 May in Brussels.

The proceedings are in separate audio files. In order to listen to the files, you will need the latest Flash plugin for your browser, which you can get here. Alternatively, you can right-click on the links to the files, download them to your desktop and listen to them in your favourite media player.

INRIA CEO Michel Cosnard set the scene: “Technology transfer needs collaboration between research organisations and companies,” he said, adding that INRIA is of course well-prepared to meet this challenge: “Working with industry is in our culture, I would say: in our blood.” cosnard.mp3

Zoran Stancic, the deputy director-general in charge of “scientific advances” within the Commission’s Research Directorate-General, pointed out what the Commission’s priority is, namely “increasing the excellence of EU research”. Stancic repeatedly stressed the importance of what the called “the proper management of intellectual property rights” in order to achieve this target. stancic.mp3

Laurent Kott, the CEO of INRIA TRANSFERT, outlined the story of that venture, which was set up in 1998 in order to empower and enlarge INRIA’s start-up policy and has since given birth to no less than 90 spin-out companies. Reason enough for Kott to call it “quite successful”, but, he stressed, still a long way from systematically turning “promising research results” into “success stories”. kott.mp3

EurActiv publisher Christophe Leclercq opened the panel discussion with a question to all panelists: “Microsoft, eBay, Amazon, others, are all American. They were not born in Europe. Why aren’t there companies similar to these companies in Europe?” leclercq.mp3

Pierre Vigier, in charge of innovation policy with the Commission’s DG Enterprise, suggested to look at successful startups, all of which are marked, he said, by business school students coupling up with scientists “because they were open to that”. Therefore, Vigier concluded, what is needed is “a new mindset”, starting with universities and public research organisations. vigier.mp3

MEP Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, a German Liberal sitting on the Parliament’s Industry, Transport, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee, pointed out that “innovation is the contrary of research”, namely that it is about turning knowledge into money, whereas research turns money into knowledge. chatzi.mp3

Magnus Madfors, the research and development director at telecommunication company Ericsson, stressed that “different things have different time scales”, for which resason EU research framework programmes don’t fit togehter too well with innovation cycles in ICT. madfors.mp3

The head of Microsoft’s research laboratory in Cambridge, UK, Andrew Herbert, contributed his personal recipe for success, which is to “hire the smartest people, then trust them – let them do their research”. herbert.mp3

Bruno Sportisse, INRIA’s director for technology transfer and innovation, agreed that “people are key”, adding that it was therefore essential to focus on the right conditions for transfers, as well of researchers as of knowledge. sportisse.mp3

Following a panel discussion panel.mp3, including a short sum-up round sum-up.mp3, in which all panelists outlined their main theses, this led to the concluding remarks, which were given by Catherine Trautmann, a former French minister and now a colleague of Chatzimarkakis’s on the ITRE committee, of which she is also a co-chair.

“ICT investment”, Trautmann said, is also a question of training, for which reason “the digital challenge” translates into a simple formula: “Skills, skills, skills…”trautmann1.mp3

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  1. Excellent compilation of audio and video contents. Thank you for the excellent blog.

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