Time to think about Framework Programme 9 is here. You all remember FP7? So what happened to FP8? well, it was renamed Horizon 2020 after an expensive competition as no one could think of a better name... But that is useful - 2020 is the year the programme has to be replaced by a new stream of consciousness - sorry - MONEY. In order to help prepare, a high level group of experts have just finished their report called LAB FAB APP, headed by former Commissioner Pascal Lamy, who is also currently the head of the Paris-based think-tank Notre Europe.
The essential recommendation is that R&D is the future basis of Europe's wealth and innovative capacity; and in order to have real impact, the next seven-year program cycle should receive funding of about 160Billion Euro - double current levels.
"Europe is a global scientific powerhouse. It has all the necessary ingredients to shape a prosperous and safe future: 1.8 million researchers working in thousands of universities and research centres as well as in world-leading manufacturing industries, a suite of increasingly inter-connected research infrastructures, a thriving ecosystem of small and medium-sized enterprises and an increasing number of hotspots for start-ups. With just 7 % of the world’s population and 24 % of global GDP, it produces around 30 % of the world’s scientific publications." That seems like a solid base from which to go forward
There are 11 key recommendations, each coupled with a concrete action to take:
1. Prioritise research and innovation in EU and national budgets
Action: double the budget of the post-2020 EU research and innovation programme.
2. Build a true EU innovation policy that creates future markets
Action: Foster ecosystems for researchers, innovators, industries and governments; promote and invest in innovative ideas with rapid scale-up potential through a European
3. Educate for the future and invest in people who will make the change
Action: 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
Action: 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
Action: 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
Action: cut the number of R&I funding schemes and instruments, make those remaining reinforce each other, and make synergy with other programmes work.
7. Simplify further
Action: become the most attractive R&I funder in the world, privileging impact over process.
8. Mobilise and involve citizens
Action: stimulate co-design and co-creation through citizen involvement.
9. Better align EU and national R&I investment
Action: 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
Action: 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
Action: brand EU research and innovation and ensure wide communication of its results and impacts
The full report is available on-line: https://ec.europa.eu/research/evaluations/pdf/archive/other_reports_studies_and_documents/hlg_2017_report.pdf is the web-site where the report can be found