2009.12.18 A new approach for research and innovation in Europe

2009.12.18 A new approach for research and innovation in Europe

title : 2009.12.18 A new approach for research and innovation in Europe
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In preparation for the new Commission, several expert groups have independently examined European R&D and innovation policies, yet come to very similar conclusions. EIRMA has played a significant role in developing the recommendations, particularly within the group looking at the role of European R&D policy in the Knowledge Based economy. The conclusions are summarised in a joint statement to members of the European Parliament, which opens as follows:

The world has changed. Markets are global. Science is an increasingly competitive endeavour. Innovation is becoming the most important engine of growth and jobs in an emerging knowledge-based economy.

But in the European Union, many policies governing research development and innovation need radical improvement, and better long-term planning. As a new Commission and Treaty come into play, now is the opportunity for change.

We are a diverse set of expert groups, some officially appointed and some self-selected, but all working independently of one another for many months on reviews of existing RDI policy.

We now find, on the basis of our experience, that common sense speaks out for the urgent adoption of five clear but vital concepts for reform. We note some promising signs of change – such as the recent Lund Declaration, promulgated under the Swedish Presidency, and President Barroso’s announcement of plans for a chief scientific advisor and the appointment of a climate-change commissioner.

Now, as the Parliament prepares for hearings on the new Commission, we call on EU leaders to heed calls for more-rapid change – so that EU science and technology can play its full part in solving the world’s greatest challenges, and we can at last fulfill the unmet expectations of the Lisbon Agenda to create the most competitive, innovative society in the world.

At the same, we note that for too long, the European Union has made decisions with little or no fundamental appraisal of long-term trends. There is a need to establish an inter-institutional system identifying long-term trends facing the EU, which would provide common analyses of probable outcomes on major issues to be available for policymakers, linking the Council of Ministers, the European Commission and the European Parliament.

To this end, we identify five recommendations:

  1. Focus on our greatest societal challenges
  2. Encourage new networks, institutions and policies for open innovation
  3. Spend more on research, education and innovation, in part through bolder co-investment schemes
  4. Coordinate and plan RDI programmes better – within Brussels and among the member-states
  5. Open competition should be standard in EU programmes

Full Reports

The role of Community Research in the Knowledge-based Economy

Strengthening the Role of European Technology Platforms in Addressing Europe's Grand Challenges

Preparing Europe for a New Renaissance: A Strategic View of the European Research Area.


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