Europe too is broken away from the past. We have seen the European Union leading the pack to counter the effects of the severe credit crunch, and prepare the groundwork for a better regulated system, and one which is more concerned about the planet and its inhabitants. Nevertheless, one of the main challenges when it comes to the future growth of Europe remains that it has not invested enough in innovation over recent decades. According to the National Science Foundation (NSF), R&D spending in 2007 in the USA – 27% of which was provided by the Federal Government – was 40% higher than all the spending by the 27 countries in the European Union put together! And the IT industry, which is the key driver of innovation, competitiveness and sustainable growth for all industry sectors, is still largely dominated by the USA and Japan. So real political will is needed to capitalize on and share its potential. World renowned players and recognized expertise are precious assets when it comes to regaining a leading place in this sector, and taking full advantage of the development of the digital economy.
The French government, under the auspices of President Sarkozy, has put out a strong signal in this direction, with its recently published ‘Digital France 2012’ plan, which is set to be expanded at a European level. I would like just to point out two of the actions in the plan in which Bull is directly involved:
- Exploring, with the IT makers involved and the European Commission, a development plan for the supercomputer industry in Europe
- Playing a role – though GENCI1 – in the European PRACE2 infrastructure, and supporting the European hardware manufacturing industry, including its two leading players in France Bull and STMicroelectronics, through partnership research programs to enhance its competitiveness; given that innovation is such a decisive differentiator in this area.
Making it easier for individual citizens, the public sector and the whole economy to ‘go digital’ for a greener and more prosperous planet, that’s what we are aiming for. It remains to execute. Yes, we can!
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer