Research cooperation, innovation key to European economy, employment: Commissioner

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The establishment of an European Research Area (ERA) is a key reform to kick-start the European economy, Maire Geoghegan-Quinn, the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science said here on Wednesday.

Addressing the Irisn Senate, the commissioner said the ERA was aimed to "spread excellence by encouraging cross-border collaboration and open innovation."

She described ERA as a European single market for research, according to a press release from European Commission.

"It means reducing fragmentation and duplication in our national research systems," she said, adding that innovation was critical for growth and more jobs.

"The EU Member States who spent more than 2.5 percent of their gross domestic product (GDP) on research and innovation in 2011, had an average unemployment rate of 6.6 percent in October 2012," said the commissioner.

Those investing less than 1.5 percent of GDP in research and innovation, meanwhile, had an average unemployment rate of 13.8 percent, she said.

The ERA is a unified research area open to the world based on European internal market, in which researchers, scientific knowledge and technology circulate freely. The European Commission adopted the ERA Communication last July in a bid to strengthen competitiveness of EU and its member states. Endi

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