The Rafael del Pino Foundation hosted Andreu Mas-Colell's keynote lecture entitled "Innovation and research as keys to the future", as part of the series of lectures "Lessons from the crisis", on 17 May 2010.
Andreu Mas-Colell stated that "Our research system is not optimised in any way; in other words, there is ample room to obtain better results with the same resources. The current results are not bad in the field of research; they are fragile. We should consolidate them. If we finish the next three years as well as last year, research will have weathered the crisis well. It is not clear that we will succeed. For this, we need to optimise better, for example: we need to make sure that resources go to the groups and institutes that really work. This is not the time for second or third chances, nor for starting big projects. But it is a time to channel existing resources to what works; we will hold up well and we will have optimised the considerable boost that has been given over the last decade".
Regarding the impact of the crisis on the study of economic theory, Andreu Mas-Colell said that "There is no economic thinking. This situation has been very complicated, there have been many unexpected events; economists are not magicians to see things in a crystal ball either. But they should make an effort to incorporate new phenomena and prevent crises of the same characteristics from repeating themselves. I am confident, and from what I see happening in the academic world worldwide, I believe this is the case, that everything that is happening in this crisis is renewing the elaboration, the academic work, the concerns. I hope that this crisis will make and break reputations and that its lessons will be incorporated in a profound way into the new core ideas of economics. This is what any serious discipline has to do, and I think this is what is being done in economics.