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The Warsaw Voice » Society » June 25, 2008
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EIT Goes to Budapest
June 25, 2008   
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As expected, Budapest has been chosen as the headquarters of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). This was the decision of EU science ministers who gathered in Brussels June 18. The Polish city of Wroc³aw was rejected as a site for the EIT headquarters.

The Hungarian capital had the support of most of the member states. One argument in its favor was that Hungary was not yet the site of any EU institution, while Poland is host to Frontex, the agency that coordinates cooperation on the EU's external borders.

"This is a political loss for Poland, but not necessarily a scientific one," said Prof. Micha³ Kleiber, president of the Polish Academy of Sciences, assessing Wroc³aw's defeat. He said the headquarters of the EIT Governing Board is an administrative institution and that's why no scientific loss to Poland need be involved. "Wroc³aw is applying to be home to a Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC). I think it stands a good chance," Kleiber added. KICs will deal with specialist coordination of research commissioned by the EIT.

Kleiber thinks the most important thing is for Wroc³aw to decide what field of science is its strongest point and then apply to be the coordinator of the relevant KIC. This could be a unit coordinating power engineering or new materials research, he suggested.

Similar views were voiced by Wroc³aw mayor Rafa³ Dutkiewicz who, despite his disappointment with the EU science ministers' decision, confirmed that Wroc³aw would run in the competition for a KIC host. He has not specified yet what the field will be, but mentioned renewable energy and information technology and communications.
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