EU Council adopts research conclusions
by Ingemar Pongratz
The European Council represented by the different Heads of Research from the European member states recently met and adopted several important conclusions based on the outcome of different negotiations which have taken place during the Dutch Presidency.
These conclusions are very interesting and may have important ramifications in the future for the different research performers in Europe in the future. In addition, these conclusions will also impact on the different EU research funding scheme such as Eureka Eurostars, ERASMUS and Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation schemes.
Importantly, the European Council recognizes the critical contribution that research and the research community has on European innovation, economic growth and industrial performance in Europe and agree that research is a critical component for increasing future European competitiveness. The Council agrees that the EU funding schemes are important to further develop the European Research Area.
In addition, drawing on lessons learned from the previous European research funding scheme (FP7) that European funding instruments must be further simplified.
In addition, the Council recognized that loan based instruments should not expand at the expense of the grant based funding schemes in particular Horizon 2020. This is very interesting and may limit the development of for example the European Innovation Council which is planned by the European Commission and is currently being discussed.
Furthermore the European Council has strongly urged the European Commission to continue the transition towards Open Access, where the research results funded by the European Union is freely available for the public. The council calls for an immediate transition to Open Access by 2020.
The Council also urged the European Commission to take into consideration how new rules and regulation would impact on European Innovation and research to ensure that bottlenecks are avoided and removed. This is according to the European policy on the Innovation Principle which has been adopted.
Taken together, these are interesting developments that will impact on the research environment in Europe. Certainly, the fact that the European Council seems to be against the creation of loan based instruments at the expense of Horizon 2020 is good news for the research community, however this could delay the development of for example the European Innovation Council.
Ingemar Pongratz is CEO of Fenix Scientific AB / Pongratz Consulting. We help enterprises and organizations to find and apply for public funding in particular form Horizon 2020 and other European schemes. Please contact us if you are interested in our services, either through the Online Contact Form or by email to:
Ingemar.Pongratz (a) pongratzconsulting.com