“LAB-FAB-APP: Investing in the European Future we want” is the title of the Report on the Future European Research and Innovation Programs that was presented today by the Europe Commission. The document is the result of the work of the High Level Group set up by the Commission in December 2016, chaired by Pascal Lamy, former European Commissioner and consisting of eleven important European personalities in the research world.

The work of the High Level Group and the accompanying report focuses on maximizing the impact of European investment in research and innovation. It is part of the midterm assessment of Horizon 2020 which is the main European program for Research and Innovation from 2014 to 2020.

The Report suggests that two-thirds of the economic growth of the last two decades is attributable to progress in research and innovation. The European Union is certainly a global scientific power. The fact that with only 7% of the world's population, the EU makes 30% of the scientific publications makes this makes this irrefutable. The member states' diversity, according to the Report, is a strong point, yet an obstacle in defining a common R&I strategy. With the patent production being three times lower than in Japan and a number of so-called unicorn companies (fast-growing, unlisted start-ups), fivefold inferior to that of US, the EU is still considered a weak player in global research and innovation. Over the next few years, the performance in this area will become a decisive factor in defining the EU's position in the world's economy.

In this context, the Report identifies eleven priorities, which are fundamental to maximize the impact of future European research and innovation programs. Among these, the need to give priority to this sector in the Community and national budgets is high as well as hoping for a substantial increase (a doubling) of funding for the Horizon2020 program.
The modernization of the program should also start from the creation of a European Innovation Council, which should not only focus more on investment in businesses, but also create a new system for evaluating project proposals. The report also underlines the need for greater synergy between the European R&I program and the other European programs. Specifically, in order to better combine the needs of SMEs and the research sector, an incorporation of the COSME program is proposed within Horizon2020.

In conclusion, the report highlights the importance of the creation of a European Research Area, an objective already agreed on in the Lisbon Treaty, which would be an area where scientific knowledge and technology can circulate freely.

More information on the work of the High Level Group on maximizing the impact of EU R&I Programs can be found here.

LAB - FAB- - APP: Investing in the European Future we want 

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