MEP Calls For European Institute To Set Up In Scotland

02 September 2005
MEP Alyn Smith (SNP) has today encouraged Scottish Universities to bid to host the European Institute of Technology. His call comes as the European Parliament's Industry, Research and Energy Committee prepares for a four day tour of Scotland.

Mr Smith has written to all Scottish Universities encouraging them to respond to a European Commission plan to set up a high level technology institute with five or six centres spread across European Universities. The proposal is still in its early stages but has already attracted interest from universities in France and Poland.

Commenting on the Institute, Mr Smith said:

"Scotland is the perfect location for the European Institute of Technology. Our universities have shown they have the expertise and can compete not just with the best in Europe, but the best in the world.

"I've been in touch with all our Universities about the EIT and there is a lot of interest out there in the plans. Our researchers and scientists have shown time and again that they are ahead of the field in many areas, some of which MEPs will be seeing this week on a tour of Scotland.

"Along with my European colleagues I will be visiting the Roslin Institute, Dundee's labs and St Andrews University this week. We will be seeing and hearing about some of the top research taking place here. This is the perfect opportunity for these universities to sell Scotland as a location for one of the Institutes bases.

"There will be stiff competition to host the Institute from across Europe but I am confident that Scottish Universities have what it takes to be part of the project. There will be millions if not billions of Euro's available for the networks of universities and researchers involved in this project. I want to see some of that money coming to Scotland."

The Commission launched a consultation on the European Institute of Technology in September.

The Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE) will be in Scotland from Wednesday 5th October to Saturday 8th October.