On the 29th March 2017 at the European Parliament took place a meeting between some Italian MEPs and the members of GIURI, an informal coordination network of the Italian Representation Offices in Brussels, which consists of almost 50 stakeholders among which regions, professional associations, research centers and universities. The autonomous province of Trento actively contributed to the formulation of the document by collecting inputs and advice from the research centers of its territory, namely Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Fondazione Edmund Mach and University of Trento. The initiative was aimed to illustrate the position paper elaborated by GIURI on the next Research and Innovation Framework Programme (FP9). As a matter of fact, the members of the network had agreed to present a common position in order to seek to constructively contribute to the discussion on the next Framework Programme.
The meeting was opened by the Deputy Permanent Representative Ambassador to COREPER Giovanni Pugliese, who stressed the essential role of research in the European integration process. The ambassador also emphasized four strategic areas to work on: support to international cooperation, attention to the role of the big industry, major involvement of the countries of the eurozone13 and research in the defence sector.
The next to take the floor was Marco Falzetti, director of APRE, who presented the study that the agency is carrying out about the Italian participation in the first three years of Horizon 2020 implementation.
Then, Renzo Tomellini, head of unit A3 «Horizon 2020 policies» of the DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission, informed the audience about the state of the art of the discussion at the European Commission on the next framework programme.
Successively, Arianna Giuliodori of Coldiretti illustrated GIURI’s position paper. The document proposes some recommendations on specific aspects of the framework programme, with the hope that the grant’s system will remain predominant also in the future and that the synergies among funds will be exploited to a greater extent.
The meeting ended with a debate with the MEPs Patrizia Toia and Rosa d’Amato. During this latest moment of confrontation it emerged how crucial it is to work in an integrated way at the Italian level in order to put forward a united stand at European level. The necessity to strike a balance between the funds dedicated to research and those to innovation within the framework programme was also highlighted. It is generally accepted that research should be kept at European level to ensure critical mass and to bring further added value. Finally, it is fundamental to better capitalize the results of the financed projects so that they can produce a real impact on European society.
GIURI’s presentation of the position paper represents a first step made by Italian actors to put forwards their requests at European level. The MEP Patrizian Toia expressed her satisfaction for this initiative and the hope to continue the collaboration on these bases.