The current Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) runs until
2013. In February 2011, the European Commission launched its Green
Paper consultation on future EU Research and Innovation Funding.
EMI welcomed the opportunity to react to the Green Paper and
submitted a written response on the EU CSFRI website. EMI’s remarks
concern the focus, strategy and approach of the proposed framework.
Since 1984, the European Union is carrying out funding programmes in order to encourage and support coordinated European research. In 2000, the European Research Area started; a system of scientific research integrating the scientific resources of the EU. The consecutive Framework Programmes, covering several years, vary in their specific objectives and actions.
The overarching strategic goals of the new Framework Programme
are increasing the impact of EU research and a drastic
simplification. In doing so, the EC wants to make participation
easier, increase scientific and economic impact and provide better
value for money. Several different funding programmes that are now
acting next to each other will be merged into a newly formed Common
Strategic Framework for future EU Research and Innovation Funding.
Below, you will find –in short- EMI’s remarks regarding the Common
- According to EMI, the EU should focus on its urban and
metropolitan areas in defining the key topics for the Common
Strategic Framework, as they are essential for achieving
Europe’s goals for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Urban
and metropolitan regions have always been key drivers of innovation
and economic growth and nowadays, over 70% of the European
population lives in urban or metropolitan areas. Cities present
challenges, but also can be part of the solution in tackling the
main societal challenges. Focusing on urban and metropolitan areas
in defining the key topics of EU funding will increase its societal
and economic impact.
- EMI calls for a strategy within the research funding
framework that is research-based, but practice-led.
Knowledge and innovation are relevant and invaluable, yet useless
unless concretely applicable. Bridging the gap between research and
practice will make sure that research and innovation can be applied
in a concrete way in the European Union. In this way, the Common
Strategic Framework will benefit as many European citizens as
possible and thus increase its societal relevance. EMI believes
that there are great opportunities for improving the links between
future EU funding programmes and reaching the objectives of
tackling societal challenges mentioned in Europe 2020.
- EMI strongly supports the proposed fundamental merge
and simplification of the various funding programmes into one
strategic framework for future research and innovation funding in
the European Union, bringing the entire innovation chain
together, including social innovation and its end users. However,
EMI stresses that for maximal improvement and benefit, this should
go hand in hand with the aforementioned ‘research-based,
practice-led’ strategy. To bridge the gap between research and
policy so that innovative measures can certainly be implemented in
- EMI encourages the Commission to further support
specific forms of pooling national research funding. As an
active participant in the Joint Programming Initiative on Urban
Europe, EMI has first-hand experience with this new type of
initiative and believes this cooperation is truly taking into
account the trans-national nature of research and innovation.