Future European R&D and Innovation Funding System and the setting up of a new Strategic Framework for R&D and Innovation

Published: 20 May 2011

Policies & Issues: R&D and Innovation

COM (2011) 48

Orgalime wishes to thank the Commission for launching a consultation and we herewith would like to express our views on the EU's plans for creating a new framework for research and innovation in Europe, as outlined in the Commission Green Paper 'From Challenges to Opportunities: Towards a Common Strategic Framework for EU Research and Innovation Funding'.  In general, we agree with the Commission’s analysis of the shortcomings of the current funding framework and support many ideas expressed in the Green Paper for overcoming these deficiencies.

Manufacturing industry and industry related services are the main provider of growth and employment in Europe. Research, technological development and innovation are all essential to maintain and further develop the worldwide technological leadership that the European industry has acquired in many areas. European R&D and Innovation Policy plays a significant role in underpinning this position. EU funding can leverage a company’s own R&D by means of external resources, and by offering a knowledge-based network across Europe. It therefore needs to be maintained, improved and enlarged.

A number of simplifications to the Framework Programme have already been introduced in recent years and some measures have clearly contributed to reducing the time-to-grant and the effort required to manage projects. We encourage policy makers to continue on this path. Despite a number of discouraging elements (such as overwhelming bureaucracy, slow procedures, fragmentation among programmes and departments in charge, limited industry relevance etc), we believe that it is worth investing in European R&D and innovation projects. However, if the ongoing decline in industry participation in FPs continues, the programme will lose its standing. The ongoing reform process is therefore of crucial importance and should aim at high industrial relevance and at strong industrial participation.

In general we welcome the idea that EU R&D and Innovation policy should cover the full innovation cycle: from strategic and applied research, demonstration, deployment and access to capital, to market take-up (as long as basic principles such as subsidiarity and competition policy are respected). EU funding programmes addressing the different steps of the innovation cycle should be managed in a common framework with standardised and simplified procedures. However, achieving this will require not only increased funding, but especially better coordination and integration at several levels.

We first summarise our views with 5 recommendations and then reply to the questions posed in the Green Paper which are most relevant to us.

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