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23 Jun 2015

Commissioner Moedas outlines plans for "Open Innovation, Open Science, Open to the World" at ERA Conference

The ERA Conference "A new start for Europe: Opening up to an ERA of Innovation" is currently taking place in Brussels (22-23 June 2015). Speaking at the Conference, Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, highlighted the importance of open science and open innovation which very much also involved user innovation and where "new knowledge is created through global collaborations involving thousands of people from across the world and from all walks of life".

The Commissioner therefore called for drawing up "a new path for European research and innovation policy", fit for an open, digital and global environment. With regard to the European Research Area (ERA), which was started 15 years ago, he appreciated the progress that has already been made, e.g. with regard to cross-border research cooperation or researcher mobility.

Commissioner Moedas announced that he would convene a meeting with all countries that have introduced national ERA action plans in June 2016, to complete what he called the "first chapter" of ERA, "the physical ERA and bringing together research and innovation". The next chapter to be opened at the same time would have to "focus on opening up our research and innovation systems and bringing together the physical and digital".

While appreciating diversity and great institutions as European strengths, the Commissioner also saw three major challenges for this next ERA chapter: succeeding better in getting research results to market; adapting to the revolution in the way science works, becoming an open, collaborative and participative process; and for Europe to have a more active voice in global science debates to match its collective scientific importance. These challenges would have to be met by making Open Innovation, Open Science and Openness to the World Europe's strategic priorities.

The Commissioner outlined a number of measures he envisaged in connection with these three strategic priorities, such as: getting more innovation impact out of Horizon 2020, e.g. by introducing a "seal of excellence" for applicants evaluated as excellent but unable to obtain financing from Horizon 2020, to help them access Structural Funds, starting with the SME Instrument; designing a new "European Innovation Council" under the Horizon 2020 Mid-term Review, which should do for innovation what the ERC does for excellent science (Open Innovation); preparing a call for aEuropean Science Cloud Project in order to facilitate more open access to research results and the underlying data, setting standards for this scientific data and introducing further support or requirements for open data in Horizon 2020; launching a new European Research Integrity Initiative by the end of 2015 (Open Science); starting to build a "global research area" through developing partnerships with other parts of the world such as China, Latin America and the US; launching and expanding a series of international initatives such as a common research strategy for the South Atlantic, launching the PRIMA initiative as a joint research programme on water and food for the Mediterranean; investing more in projects such as the SESAME initiative in Jordan (Open to the World).

Concluding, the Commissioner emphasised that "This new InnovationERA must be based on actions and not words. ... Research and innovation must take a long term perspective and not be trapped by the past. And we must make sure that each one of our actions brings in new entrants, young researchers, dynamic entrepreneurs, and people who have never been involved in European research and innovation."

Commissioner Moedas and Commissioner Oetinger have also published a joint blog post on Open Science on the occasion of the ERA Conference.

For more information:

Full text of Commissioner Moedas' speech (check against delivery)

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