Philosophy

Members of the Network contribute to strengtheningEuropean knowledge economy – in line with values of a new, sustainable development paradigm.

Over centuries Europe has been the engine of scientific and technological progress, but now the European union has to encourage member states to better activate their innovative potential and enhance knowledge based competitiveness.

Our universities find it increasingly difficult to compete with the best in the world, and unless changes along Bologna Process are accelerated Europe is facing rather bleak prospects for the future. Modern education means enabling students to find data and information, and interpret them critically, thereby building competencies they need to understand the quickly changing world, and perform creatively in their jobs. But also, values and ethical standards in business should be reintroduced, as the recent crisis has drastically demonstrated.

Understanding the nature of knowledge creation, transfer and dissemination, and having achieved an enviable social model, Europe has the possibilities to motivate people to revive their creative potential. How can we address the systemic and attitudinal problems? Around Europe there are lots of inspiring good practice cases (e.g. in Nordic countries), but many of them are not known to politicy makers, specially at the regional and local level, neither to relevant stakeholders in business, RTD activities, and elsewhere.

Also at EU level an enormous amount of good studies, manuals, and compendia of good practice are produced, and there are hundreds of European associations and networks who work systematically on aspects of knowledge economy. But this incredible wealth of information, knowledge, and practical advise remains accessible only to a small share of potential beneficiaries. European organisations covering complementary areas very often do not collaborate to achieve possible synergies.

Knowledge economy requires intense exchange of information among policy makers and stakeholders. While the first can develop conditions for motivating creativity, the second should understand that innovation is the best guarranty for their competitive performance. Knowledge economy policies cannot be restricted to the national level, regions have a particularly important role in this context. Europe also needs more sharing of experience and closer collaboration among the Triple Helix Partners, starting at the local and regional level. We belive this can happen in a stronger and more transparent EU, which requires regions to be more active at the European level.

We also belive that a much stronger role of women in corporate decision-making is not only an issue of modern political culture. It has been proven that specific female qualities contribute to better, more responsible and fairer decisions.

Whatever your field of interest, as long as you are dealing with issues of knowledge economy, human capital and innovation, you will find our key annual event, the EREF Forum in Nova Gorica, Slovenia (7-8 June) an excellent opportunity to meet interesting people, and obtain useful information, and ideas inspiring you for future activities.

Dear visitor, you probably agree with most of the above statements. Surely, you would like to know how EREF Network practically contributes in solving these problems, and how you could benefit from our activities and services. If so, I invite you to look at different website sections – particularly Mission, »Services« and »Members« - and I hope you will decide to join our efforts.

Thank you in advance!


Prof. Boris Cizelj
Chair of EREF


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