Industry leaders support the EU research budget

Major European industry leaders support the EU research budget in a joint letter with the European Research Council (ERC). The letter, which was published in the Financial Times, was followed by a press release of the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT) which is a forum for chief executives or chairmen of around 50 major European companies with a combined turnover of about €1 Billion, thereby sustaining around 6.6 million jobs in Europe.
A week ahead the next budget summit of the EU heads of state or government on 7 and 8 February 2013 in Brussels, the strong statement from industry and ERC complements earlier initiatives: A letter signed by 50 Nobel laureates and Fields medallists was followed by an online petition which has reached 153’000 signatures from researchers and concerned citizens as of January 2013. This campaign, aimed at safeguarding the research funds in the negotiations on the EU budget for the period 2014-20, was coordinated by the Initiative for Science in Europe (ISE).
The members of the ERT include the following companies:
Austria: OM;  Belgium: Solvay, Umicore; Denmark: A.P. Moller – Maersk; Finland: Nokia, Kone; France: Air Liquide, Saint-Gobain, TOTAL, Lafarge, GDF SUEZ, Alcatel-Lucent; Germany: Siemens, BASF, SAP, ThyssenKrupp, Deutsche Telekom, BMW, E.ON; Greece: Titan Cement; Hungary: MOL; Ireland: Smurfit Kappa; Italy: Telecom Italia, STMicroelectronics, Fiat, CIR, Eni; Norway: Norsk Hydro; Portugal: SONAE; Spain: Telefónica, Repsol S.A., Iberdrola, Inditex; Sweden: Ericsson, Investor AB; Switzerland: ABB, Nestlé, F. Hoffmann-La Roche; Netherlands: AkzoNobel, Heineken, Philips, Shell; Turkey: Eczacibaşi, Sabanci Holding; UK: IAG, Vodafone, Rio Tinto, BP