Increase visibility of impact of research and innovation for European citizens

European forest-based sector stakeholders are convinced that the next EU Research and Innovation Framework Programme (FP9) can significantly increase the visibility of its impact by implementing measures and building on the lessons learnt during the lifespan of Horizon 2020. In a position paper released today, the sector confirms its commitment to working together with the European institutions in the process of defining and implementing an ambitious and transparent FP9 for Europe.​

The position paper, Joint recommendation of FTP and the forest-based sector on the next EU Research and Innovation Framework Programme, lists 17 concise suggestions, clustered under five thematic groups that offer concrete proposals to boost the impact of public funding for research and innovation activities in various programming dimensions of FP9. 

A. Purpose and structure of FP9
1: Focus on relevance to the European citizen
2: Ensure a balanced three-pillar approach
3: Encourage participation of business and industry
4: Focus on impact and select one objective per Call Topic

B. Measuring and increasing the impact of activities
5: Use recognized ETPs and relevant stakeholder networks to increase impact and outreach
6: Low success rates cost society billions of Euros
7: Ensure funded projects have easy access to European research infrastructure

C. Preparation of Calls for Proposals and Work Programmes
8: Make preparation of the Work Programmes more transparent to stakeholders
9: Maintain know-how within the Commission administration

D. Funding instruments
10: Continue the use of the ERA-NET Cofund instrument
11: Do not replace grants with loans and risk-financing instruments
12: Be restrictive with the launch of new funding instruments
13: Maintain small-scale projects (less than € 5 million)

E. Thematic priorities – Supporting the circular bioeconomy and raw materials
14: Support sustainable biomass mobilization in a coherent way
15: Continue the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU)
16: Support the substitution of energy-intensive materials
17: Support mainstreamed approaches of climate change adaptation and mitigation to forestry

The sector further emphasizes that both FP9 and its future administration should maintain the ambition of safeguarding sustainable growth and jobs in Europe.

Starting this summer, the entire FTP network will join the efforts of FTP in Brussels, by echoing the key messages of the position paper within Member States and in disseminating the recommendations of the sector to all relevant national stakeholders, ministries and funding agencies that have a voice in the discussions on FP9. 

The position paper is the result of collective input provided by forest-based sector stakeholders, including confederations and associations representing all value chains within the sector at European level, as well as experts from industry, academia and research organizations from 25 European countries, as part of FTP’s National Support Groups (NSGs).