The Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities’ response to the Report of the High-Level Group on Maximising the Impact of EU Research and Innovation Programmes.
As a network of 19 universities across Europe, The Guild is committed to participating in the debate on a vision for the next Framework Programme (FP9). Our response to the report of the High-Level Group led by Pascal Lamy includes the following key messages:
- Frontier-led research should be maintained as the cornerstone of the EU framework programmes, and the prominence of research excellence as the guiding principle of its funding instruments should be maintained.
- The European Innovation Council (EIC) should support different actors of the innovation ecosystems, as well as all types of innovation. The EIC should also help bridge the gap between the creation of knowledge and the commercialization of ideas.
- Missions for collaborative research should be designed in close collaboration with universities, and they should support projects at low technology readiness levels (TRL). The impact of projects should be measured through indicators that go beyond numerical quantifications.
- The Guild welcomes the report’s vision of creating closer links between research, education and innovation in the future Framework Programme. However, more discussion is needed on the objectives of the proposed ‘European university’ label.
- We also welcome the report’s support for close synergies between the Structural Funds and the Framework Programmes. However, this must be coupled with improved instruments to address the participation gap and increased focus on matching research infrastructures with internationally excellent researchers in the lower-performing regions.
Increased engagement with citizens as collaborators and end-users of the research results is crucial, and we support improved support for it. However, more consideration is needed on the best ways to achieve this and have citizens represented in the projects funded by the programme.