Top advisors call for increased EU investment in research and innovation

Europe must capitalise better on the knowledge it produces, and turn its innovation potential into economic growth. Research and innovation should be prioritised in EU and national budgets, with a doubling of the budget of the successor to Horizon 2020, the current EU research and innovation programme. And it should involve citizens in addressing global challenges through broadly mobilising innovation missions.

These are among the eleven recommendations presented on 3 July 2017 to the Commission in a new vision for EU research and innovation, prepared by an independent high-level group of leading experts chaired by Pascal Lamy, President Emeritus of the Jacques Delors Institute.

Photo by: EU Science & Innovation
Photo by: EU Science & Innovation

Inspired by the report, over 700 scientists, innovators, business people and policy makers discussed the future of research and innovation in Europe at the conference Research & Innovation – Shaping our Future, hosted by Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation.

The report, entitled LAB – FAB – APP: Investing in the European future we want highlights that in the last twenty years, two-thirds of the economic growth in industrialised countries is attributed to research and innovation. Its recommendations focus on maximising the impact of EU investments in research and innovation in order to increase prosperity and solve our biggest societal challenges.

The Group proposed eleven recommendations:

1.    Prioritise research and innovation in EU and national budgets, including a doubling of the budget of the post-2020 EU research and innovation programme
2.    Build a true EU innovation policy that creates future markets
3.    Educate for the future and invest in people who will make the change
4.    Design the EU R&I programme for greater impact
5.    Adopt a mission-oriented, impact-focused approach to address global challenges
6.    Rationalise the EU funding landscape and achieve synergy with structural funds
7.    Simplify further, privilege impact over process
8.    Mobilise and involve citizens
9.    Better align EU and national R&I investment
10.    Make international R&I cooperation a trademark of EU research and innovation
11.    Capture and better communicate impact


The High-Level Group on maximising the impact of EU Research and Innovation Programmes brings together 12 leading personalities from across Europe with a wide range of expertise. The members hold key posts in universities or research organisations, are leaders of industrial giants and dynamic SMEs, serve in high-level policy positions in national or international organisations, and play important roles in civil society organisations.

The Group was tasked in December 2016 to advise the Commission on how to maximise the impact of the EU’s investment in research and innovation.

Photo by: EU Science & Innovation
Photo by: EU Science & Innovation

The Commission will respond to recommendations of the High-Level Group in a Communication to be published later this year. The recommendations and results of the conference will feed into the preparation of the successor research and innovation programme to Horizon 2020, due to be proposed by the Commission in 2018. Research and innovation funding was identified as having high EU added value in the Reflection Paper on the Future of EU Finances.

Complete press release available here

Author: European Commission Directorate on Research & Innovation