In response to recent surveys indicating a lack of European universities that can compete with the global leaders, the European Union (EU) has announced plans to build a world-class technology institute, BBC News reports.
The institute would be made up of a small, centralized group that would organize research teams across the EU, according to BBC News, and would be a “virtual” institute so as not to be in competition with the existing European organizations.
“Excellence needs flagships—that’s why Europe must have a strong European Institute of Technology (EIT), bringing together the best brains and companies, and disseminating the results throughout Europe,” Jose Manuel Barroso, Commission president, told BBC News on Wednesday.
All involved aren’t exactly optimistic. Many critics are concerned that the EIT will divert valuable resources from existing technology projects, like the European Research Council, a similar effort to boost technology excellence across Europe.
Chris Patten, former European Commissioner and chancellor of Oxford University, said funds should be focused on institutions that are already in place.
Companies like Microsoft, Nokia and Pirelli have reportedly expressed interest in the EIT, BBC News reports.
The proposal for organization of the institute will be considered at the European Union’s upcoming March summit, according to BBC News.
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