The EU has an exciting time ahead with newly elected MEPs, a new President of the European Council as well as a new President of the European Commission. Candidates for the latter position put forward by the political parties in the European Parliament were and are debating the future of the EU to large audiences however a vision on the future of the EU in the field of education, research and innovation has remained absent in these debates. The IGLO offices signing this open letter would therefore like to draw the attention to the importance of the knowledge triangle for boosting economic growth and jobs in the Europe.
On 1 January 2014, the EU programmes Horizon 2020 for research and innovation and the Erasmus+ programme for education youth and sports formally started. After two years of tough negotiations on the contents and the budgets, consensus was reached. The results indicated that investment in the knowledge triangle got the highest attention of the EU. Not only do these programmes show that education, research and innovation have an important role to play, also EU policies such as the European Research Area and Rethinking Education and Opening up Education demonstrate that cooperation and sharing best practices can indeed bring about respectively more coordinated national research systems and mobility of researchers, students and teachers.
IGLO would like to point out that investment in education, research and innovation are a key component in the toolbox for finding sustainable solutions not only to the societal challenges but also to the economic issues Europe is facing. These investments create new turnover, new permanent jobs and sustainable solutions to our big societal challenges. Without new knowledge and innovations Europe is not going to find its role in the changing global arena. Hence, Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ must be better exposed in the political agenda as education, research and innovation are fundamental to Europe, to be one of the main actors in the changing global arena. Therefore, research, innovation and education policies need to have strong leaders who can bring the knowledge triangle dimension into the relevant European discussions with proper weight.
We therefore urge the newly (to be) elected representatives of the European institutions to take the above mentioned duly into account because we believe that the investments in research, innovation and education are essential pre-requisites to secure growth and jobs in the future of the European Union.
 IGLO is an informal association of Brussels-based non-profit R&D Liaison Offices. The aim of the network is to facilitate and enhance the interaction, information exchange and cooperation between members of IGLO, their national research systems and the European institutions on issues related to EU R&D.(http://www.iglortd.org/)