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Investing in the European future we want

Report of the independent High Level Group on maximising the impact of EU Research & Innovation Programmes

The European Commission, through Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for research, science and innovation, invited us to draw up a vision and strategic recommendations to maximise the impact of future European Union (EU) research and innovation (R&I) programmes.

Our recommendations are addressed to the Euro- pean institutions, national governments as well as to other stakeholders: companies, universities, research institutes, non-governmental organisations and all others engaged in research and innovation within the EU and beyond.

We need to get rid of the notion that research and innovation is not relevant to society. To shape our future together, we need to imagine, invent and create. We need research (“Labs”), innovation (com- petitive fabrication (“Fabs”) and applications for the benefit of all (“Apps”). Hence the title of our report: Lab, Fab, App: investing in the future we want.

Summary of recommendations

The following recommendations are aimed at max- imising the impact of future EU research and inno- vation programmes. Each of them is exemplified by a key action.

  1. Prioritise research and innovation in EU and national budgets
    Action: double the budget of the post-2020 EU research and innovation programme.
  2. Build a true EU innovation policy that creates future markets
    Action: Foster ecosystems for researchers, innovators, industries and governments; promote and invest in innovative ideas with rapid scale-up potential through a European Innovation Council.
  3. Educate for the future and invest in people who will make the change
    Action: modernise, reward and resource the education and training of people for a creative and innovative Europe.
  4. Design the EU R&I programme for greater impact
    Action: make the future programme’s pillars driven by purpose and impact, fine-tune the pro- posal evaluation system and increase flexibility.
  5. Adopt a mission-oriented, impact-focused approach to address global challenges
    Action: set research and innovation missions that address global challenges and mobilise researchers, innovators and other stakeholders to realise them.
  6. Rationalise the EU funding landscape and achieve synergy with structural funds
    Action: cut the number of R&I funding schemes and instruments, make those remaining re inforce each other and make synergy with other programmes work.
  7. Simplify further
    Action: become the most attractive R&I funder in the world, privileging impact over process.
  8. Mobilise and involve citizens
    Action: stimulate co-design and co-creation through citizen involvement.
  9. Better align EU and national R&I investment
    Action: ensure EU and national alignment where it adds value to the EU’s R&I ambitions and missions.
  10. Make international R&I cooperation a trade- mark of EU research and innovation
    Action: open up the R&I programme to associ- ation by the best and participation by all, based on reciprocal co-funding or access to co-funding in the partner country.
  11. Capture and better communicate impact
    Action: brand EU research and innovation and ensure wide communication of its results and impacts

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