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EMI participates in consultation Green Paper - Common Strategic Framework for future EU Research & Innovation Funding

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 Strategic Framework.

  • 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 society.

  • 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.