Neth-ER: FP9 needs coherent EU 'knowledge first' policy

22 november 2017

FP9 should be part of a coherent ‘knowledge first’ policy in order for Europe to take a leading role and to optimally develop its knowledge-based society. This is one of the key conditions for FP9, according to Neth-ER. FP9 should have a budget of at least 120 billion euros to realise its ambitions concerning excellence, cooperation and impact.  

A strong and coherent ‘knowledge first’ policy

Neth-ER calls for a coherent European ‘knowledge first’ policy that connects all efforts in relevant policy areas, programmes (including FP9) and instruments that support the research and innovation ecosystem. This is one of the main messages of Neth-ER’s vision paper for FP9: ‘knowledge first’, in which three key principles and two key conditions for FP9 are outlined.

Optimised synergies between FP9 and other EU policies, such as the Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) are required to implement a ‘knowledge first’ policy. At least 15% of the ESIF budget should be allocated to enhance interregional collaboration, capacity-building projects and the creation of research and innovation infrastructures.

Excellence achieved through competition

Excellence in research must continue to be achieved through competition and this must remain the primary selection criterion in the open competition and selection of research proposals. Neth-ER recommends to expand the European Research Council (ERC) Synergy Grant. This contributes to the removal of barriers between scientific and scholarly disciplines in order to face current and future scientific, societal and economic challenges.

Cooperation to strengthen European industry

According to Neth-ER, FP9 must accommodate market-oriented research and innovation by establishing and maintaining excellent and effective innovation ecosystems throughout Europe. Close cooperation of all actors in the whole value chain is necessary to ensure the highest European added value. The European Innovation Council (EIC) should be founded on collaborative structures and for the sake of collaboration, the EIC should not grant single beneficiaries.  

Impact on society through open standards

FP9 should accommodate collaborative research between science, society and industry. Open Science facilitates the creation of impact on society, while also engaging citizens in research. The Netherlands introduced the National Research Agenda in 2015 to engage citizens in research. The members of Neth-ER would gladly share their experiences with the National Research Agenda with the European Commission and Member States.

Moreover, missions can contribute to making the results of research and innovation more tangible for society at large. In order for the mission-approach to be successful, missions have to have well-defined, thematic goals.  

A modern knowledge-oriented budget

A dramatically increased budget for research and innovation is an inevitable requirement. Neth-ER strongly supports the Lamy group’s call for a substantial increase of the budget for FP9. A minimum of 15% of the Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) should be dedicated to FP9, with an absolute budget of 120 billion euro.

About this paper

This vision paper was written by Neth-ER to support the European Commission’s consultation process for the next EU Framework Programme for research and innovation. The Dutch knowledge community highly values Horizon 2020 and is convinced that European cooperation for research and innovation can reach to its full potential in FP9.

More information

Publication Neth-ER: Vision paper for FP9: Knowledge first
Publication Neth-ER: Vision paper for Erasmus++: Knowledge first
Article Neth-ER: Neth-ER: 15% of the EU-budget should  be dedicated to R&I
Article Neth-ER: Lamy-groep: maak O&I prioriteit in EU en nationale begroting

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