Brussels, 3 July 2017, Commissioner Moedas said: "Research and Innovation make a big difference to enhancing productivity, boosting competitiveness and tangibly improving our quality of life. Europe is a global scientific powerhouse, but we need to better reap the benefits of this knowledge by turning it into value for economy and society through innovation.”

In the last twenty years, two-thirds of economic growth in industrialised countries is attributed to research and innovation. With just 7% of the world's population and 24% of global gross domestic product (GDP), Europe produces around 30% of the world's scientific publications. But compared to other major economies, we suffer from a growth deficit. At the heart of this lies an innovation deficit; Europe does not capitalise enough on the knowledge it has and produces. This is one of the challenges for Interreg Europe partnerships dealing with research and innovation.

In the context of the results of the interim evaluation of Horizon 2020, presented at the end of May 2017, the European Commission, on behalf of Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, invited a High Level Group to draw up strategic recommendations to maximise the impact of the future European Union (EU) Research and Innovation (R&I) Programmes. 

Recommendations by the High Level Group

The 11 recommendations prepared are addressed to the European institutions, national and regional governments as well as to other stakeholders: companies, universities, research institutes, non-governmental organisations and all others engaged in research and innovation within the EU and beyond.

1. Prioritise research and innovation in EU and national budgets: Double the budget of the post 2020 EU research and innovation programme.

2. Build a true EU innovation policy that creates future markets: Foster ecosystems for researchers, innovators, industries and governments; promote and invest in innovative ideas with rapid scale-up potential.

3. Educate for the future and invest in people who will make the change: Modernise, reward and resource the education and training of people for a creative and innovative Europe.

4. Design the EU R&I programme for greater impact: Make the future programme's pillars driven by purpose and impact, fine-tune the proposal evaluation system and increase flexibility.

5. Adopt a mission-oriented, impact-focused approach to address global challenges: Set research and innovation missions that address global challenges and mobilise researchers, innovators and other stakeholders to realise them.

6. Rationalise the EU funding landscape and achieve synergy with structural funds: Cut the number of R&I funding schemes and instruments, make those remaining reinforce each other and make synergy with other programmes.

7. Simplify further: Become the most attractive R&I funder in the world, privileging impact over process.

8. Mobilise and involve citizens: Stimulate co-design and co-creation through citizen involvement.

9. Better align EU and national R&I investment: Ensure EU and national alignment where it adds value to the EU's R&I ambitions and missions.

10. Make international R&I cooperation a trademark of EU research and innovation: Open-up the R&I programme to association by the best and participation by all, based on reciprocal co-funding or access to co-funding in the partner country.

11. Capture and better communicate impact: Brand EU research and innovation and ensure wide communication of its results and impacts.

 

Relevance for partnerships on research and innovation

The High Level Group addresses challenges that are faced also by these partnerships: setting up the right support framework, improving efficiency and leveraging on the international dimension. The most relevant actions suggested by the High Level Group, that Interreg Europe partners can consider when distilling policy improvements are:

  • Fostering ecosystems for researchers, innovators, industries and governments;
  • Cutting the number of R&I funding schemes and instruments, make those remaining reinforce each other and make synergy with other programmes (structural funds);
  • Opening up R&I programme to association by the best and participation by all, based on reciprocal co-funding or access to co-funding in the partner country.

For more information, the full document.
Source: European Commission, DG Research & Innovation