Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2013-11-20-Speech-3-572-000"

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"Madam President, yesterday we voted for lower European budgets. Today, we are making sure that the money is better spent. Investment in science, in research and in innovative industry will drive our growth and is vital to keeping our competitive edge. Sometimes this type of investment can be done better nationally, but there are other times when international collaboration surely does add value. In my own region, we have not only the world-famous Cambridge University but also other less well-known organisations like the Universities of Essex, Hertfordshire and East Anglia. And in my region I have seen people working on everything from curing cancer to wiping out crop diseases, from delivering cleaner energy to developing clearer communications. Researchers from across Europe have told me their good news and have also told me of their problems. I would like to thank them for their ideas, and I hope that we find them some solutions. My first point concerns excellence. It is vital that these funds are allocated on the basis of excellence. Increasing participation is important, but not at the cost of excellence, because money must go to the best projects. My second point is simplification. Too often in the past, participants have struggled with over-bureaucratic rules, and in some cases they have not even received money that they should have got. Our amendments, taken together, should make the process simpler, decisions should be faster and everything should be more transparent. Thirdly, it has been good to support some individual areas of research such as degenerative diseases, nuclear fusion, energy storage, crop compliance and plant science, all of which are really important. Furthermore, because innovation happens in businesses big and small, we have tried to get a balance, and the first funding calls for small businesses are going to be open really soon, so they had better get ready. Finally, on transparency, I am afraid I have already picked up at least one concern – voiced by a leading professor – that a call is being directed at a particular potential participant. So, please Commissioner, we need transparency: before the bids, during the process and then with open access to the results. Please Commissioner, will you make sure that everyone involved follows a transparent process?"@en1

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