The Flemish Science Policy Council (VRWB) welcomes minister Lieten's approach to give priority to science and innovation. However, the Council alerts the entire Flemish Government that limited investments in research and innovation in 2009 and 2010 will lead to disastrous and irreversible negative consequences regarding the competitiveness of Flanders. Only if the Flemish Government acts now, it may be possible for Flanders to play a significant role in the international context and to obtain the target top-5 position in Europe, as stated in the Pact 2020. The aim should be to reach the 1%-norm in 2014, as stated in the Pact 2020 and confirmed in the Government Agreement 2009-2014. The Council points out that this is a collective responsability of the entire Flemish Government. Nevertheless, the Council lacks any sense of urgency.
It is essential for the Flemish Government to draw up a long-range strategic plan for science and innovation for the reign 2009-2014, linked to a multi annual budget.
The Council encourages the commitment of Minister Lieten to the innovation spearheads. It is from utmost importance, however, to act selectively and according to the framework provided by the Flemish Science Policy Council, when deciding upon the iniatives to be taken.