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Coriolanus,

Space: as others mentioned, Arianespace is the leading commercial launcher. A lot of space probes you may know as a NASA probe are actually NASA-ESA(+ others) coproductions (even the Hubble Space Telescope). Europe has the technological edge in some future technologies, like ion drives. On the other hand, note: in space technologies, there is almost always international cooperation, so establishing who dominates is not a straightforward exercise.

Software: "Buy" is a keyword: European-based Linux is free, and increasingly applied worldwide even with Micro$oft's dominance. SAP was also mentioned; let me mention that the best anti-spy-software (Ad-aware) and the most popular anti-virus software (Antivir) is German.

Hardware: hardware is less important than its main constituents, semiconductors. In that field, Europe has three companies in the revenue top ten (just as many as Japan or the USA): Infineon (German), Philips (Dutch), STMicroelectronics (French-Italian).

Robotics: hell yeah, there is. But more practical-oriented (not Asimos or robot football).

Alt. Energy: indeed, except for photovoltaics - but Europe is about to overtake Japan even in that. In this field, world leaders are: Vestas (#1), Enercon, Gamesa (among the next 5), in effect GE Energy's subsidiary (developing and producing in Germany) in the wind sector, RWE, Isofoton, BP Solar, Shell Solar, Q-Cells, Photowatt are some of the large producers.

Europe also dominates or is level with far Asia in passenger ship building, in mobile phones (Nokia; Ericson, Siemens and Alcatel), in bridge building (in this field the US's technological fall-behind is the most apparent, and tough most construction is in Far Asia - specifically China - a significant part of that by Europeans), in tunnel building (TBMs: Herrenknecht, Wirth-NFM), (not so much to my happiness) in car building (you should know these companies), (to my limited pleasure: not enough orders) in train and railway construction (Siemens, Bombardier's most factories, Alstom), and of course in passenger plane production (Airbus).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Jul 1st, 2005 at 04:20:50 AM EST
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RWE, Isofoton, BP Solar, Shell Solar, Q-Cells, Photowatt are some of the large producers

...of solar cells.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Jul 1st, 2005 at 05:41:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I completely agree with your observation about the US falling behind in bridge building and other infrastructure areas. It seems that bridges are no longer seen as legacy projects, but as simple conveyances.

There was recently a large row in San Francisco around the replacement of the Bay bridge. They ended up raising tolls to pay for the more beautiful, advanced design; but it was amazing how many people just wanted to throw up any old bridge design to speed traffic.

I lived in Boston  while the Big Dig was nearing completion. It was messy, noisy, inconvenient, and wasteful; but the final project seems quite amazing. I have only been back once recently, but I am dying to go drive it. It is almost certain that a similar project would not even get off the drawing board today. In the current environment too much of our highway funds are spent on museums and rest stops to fund truly amazing feats.

"Where there is no vision the people perish" (Prov. 29:18)

by toad on Fri Jul 1st, 2005 at 12:04:13 PM EST
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