Activities 2006 - European Academy of Sciences and Arts

Activities 2006 - European Academy of Sciences and Arts


A strongly pro-innovation culture like in Japan indeed supports and fosters this, not only

in the sense of technical advancements but much more due to a variety of other factors

like the social, legal and infrastructural. According to K. Dam, in the U.S. economy about

50 percent of the increase in productivity is due to innovation in the retail sector. R.

Wieczorek therefore suggested the word creativity since it includes the technical as well

as the service aspects and also the area of copyright, and emphasised the importance of

the development of excellence clusters where creativity is being encouraged by IP protection

of more than just technical innovation and where education is playing a decisive role.

A. Pompidou agreed that culture influences the perception of the value of knowledge and

how knowledge can be used. In China as a result of the Cultural Revolution there are nearly

no cultural nor religious groups and with this background the perception of the value of

knowledge is indeed very different. A. Pompidou also emphasised the importance of the

creative inventor and commented on the special difficulties in Europe: the major handicap

here is to fill the gap between IP protection and the necessary time to market. Thereby the

EPO is perceived as being a supporter of large industries but in fact 80 percent of the

inventors are small and medium size enterprises and they have to fill the gap.

Obviously certain traditions influence the position towards innovation. These and further

values also affect the attitude towards capitalism. As said by R. Wieczorek, capitalism triumphed

but restrictions are necessary. Religion with its moral standards could provide the

possible values needed, but on the other hand religious reasons are also the ground for

terrorism as a result of globalisation. He proposed the following questions: Where to find

the values to live in a globalized society worth living? Shall we deal with this questions

coming from the “countries of enlightenment”? Where are we looking for values, what is

the way to put down the values, do we have global values?

Economic and macroeconomic aspects need to be emphasised as well, since the balance

sheet of one year can not take into account issues like workers rights or child labour.

Also services of general interests like water, energy or health care must be kept in mind.

The private market will not cure all the problems and, therefore, the implementation of

some values is heavily needed. According to J. Straus, there is a big problem with the social

friction due to globalisation which could constitute a real danger to democracy and the

democratic values.

The attempt to define certain values leads to the question whether minimum standards,

such as maximum working hours, minimum wage or a ban on child labour, should be

enforced and whether this is possible by regulation. The prevention of unfair competition

is a possible reason for fostering the enforcement of such minimal standards to avoid a

race to the bottom.

Another factor that influences the worldwide economic balance is finance and the power

of financial markets. Since the volume of financial assets circulating around the world daily

exceed the world trade volume of about three months and thus has, no doubt, a lasting

impact on national economies, it may well be in need of some balancing international



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