Friday 1 August 2008

European Institut of Technology: Governing Board

So, the Governing Board of the European Institute of Technology (EIT) in Budapest has been approved.

The EIT is the new agency of the European Union for the promotion of science and research. It will receive 308 million Euros until 2013. And its Governing Board is responsible for the definition of the overall strategy of the Institute, and it will choose, coordinate and evaluate the "Knowledge and Innovation Communities" (KICs), scientific clusters in different areas.

So, who are the 18 people in the Governing Board?

The whole list can be found here. Well, first we have 13 men and 5 women. That is the European way of organising gender equality in the sciences. Among them, we have a Portuguese, a Spanish, a French, an Italian, three Dutch, two Swedish, three Germans, a British, a Finnish, a Norwegian, an Estonian, a Hungarian, a Polish. That is the European way of organising geographical balance.

Okay, they all seem very qualified. They have all been abroad, most of them have a direct scientific background. But they also seem very close to business(es). Is this bad? Not necessarily. But they are still very close to business interests. And there seems to be no one with a distance to the process itself. These are almost all figures who can directly benefit from what is decided, if not personally, so through the institutions and organisations they are working for.

From their background, the decisions to be taken seem quite predictable, there is not a single person that seems to bring in something surprising. Nothing unusual. So what we are going to see will not be really innovative, it will be standard technological policies, people who are in the system for too long already deciding about the same old stuff. But luckily, administrative costs of the agency until 2013 will only be 15 million Euros...