The research will be published in the opening session of the summit – themed: "Europe in the world: leading or lagging?"– to 2,000 business leaders meeting tomorrow and Thursday (18 and 19 May) at Tour & Taxis, Brussels.
Nine European commissioners – including Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Council President Herman Van Rompuy – along with EU ambassadors from the US, India and Turkey and the prime ministers of Belgium, Hungary and Qatar will attend.
The research, compiled by European employers' organisation BusinessEurope, claims that the inflow of graduates in science and technology is falling across the continent in relative terms compared with other sectors, even in countries which are rallying following the financial crisis.
Strong economies lacking skills
In Germany in 2008 – before the crisis bit – there was a shortage of 114,000 skilled labour in the market, which fell during the recession. Following the country's strong comeback 117,000 skilled workers are now missing from the market as of February, the report says.
Similarly in Austria – another strong performer since the crisis – 77% of companies reported shortages of skilled labour last year, it claims.
More is needed to raise the profile of science by encouraging professionals to visit schools and teachers to do secondments in relevant companies, and to develop stronger partnerships between business and research institutions, the report urges.
The report calls on member states to improve the quality, attractiveness and resources of science teaching, and says there is more scope for the Commission to increase the mobility of researchers between member states.
The findings will be backed up at the summit by a survey of 300 senior European managers conducted by Accenture for the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium, which will also examine the skills deficit.
Summit to debate Europe's global position
Taking place against a backdrop of sluggish growth, the sovereign debt crisis and a worsening aging demographic across the continent – the summit will debate the future of Europe's relations with Asia, Brazil, the Middle East, North America, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine.
There will also be themed sessions – including debates on social media and SMEs – and two plenary sessions dealing with 'Europe in the World' and opportunities for growth.
Philippe de Buck, BusinessEurope's director-general, said: "The ninth European Business Summit will focus on Europe's place in the global economy […] The challenge ahead of us is immense. The position of Europe in today's world economy is under pressure. Emerging economies are pushing hard."