EC report on evaluation of funding shows FP contribution to Europe 2020 objectives
The European Commission has recently published its annual report on the evaluation of the Union's finances based on the results achieved, according to Art. 318 TFEU. The report is submitted to the Council and the European Parliament as part of the annual discharge procedure on the implementation of the EU budget. It also provides information on the contribution of the budget to Europe 2020 and on the EU added value of the budget spent.
Generally speaking, EU funding programmes contribute significantly to growth and the creation of jobs in Europe, according to the Report. With regard to R&D, the Commission states that the Europe 2020 headline target of increasing investment in R&D to 3% of GDP cannot, and was not intended to, be met by EU funding alone, since EU funding is only 10% of total public R&D spending within the EU. According to the Commission, the EU budget aims to maximise the effects of EU funding by fostering partnerships with and among Member States and private sector organisations through Joint Programming and public-private partnerships (PPPs) and by creating leverage effects on EU funding through financial facilities under Horizon 2020, CEF, and COSME.
According to the report, the current Framework Programme Horizon 2020, which started in 2014, already had 79 concluded calls in 2014, with 1,410 signed grant agreements. The attractiveness of Horizon 2020 is also proved by the fact that 12 countries have already signed Association Agreements, with another two having applied for association.
The Report also provides information on results and impacts achieved in the 2007-2013 programmes of the Multiannual Financial Framework. With regard to FP7, the ex-post evaluation is still ongoing, but recent statistics show 487 concluded calls with nearly 136,000 proposals received, involving more than 600,000 applicant organisations and individuals. Around 20% of these received funding. 22% of the projects included third-country participants, coming from 105 different countries.
46% of all industry organisations participating in FP7 projects were SMEs, and SME participation in collaborative research projects reached 17.4% (by October 2013), thereby exceeding the set target of 15%. By December 2014, 7,288 - or 48% - of all FP7 research projects were completed, generating more than 38,600 publications, nearly 40% of which were published in high-impact, peer-reviewed journals. The projects produced a technological output of 1,586 intellectual property rights applications, including 1,291 patent applications.
FP7 participation also contributed to employment levels of researchers in Europe: Around 142,000 additional researchers were hired by the FP7 beneficiary research teams, out of which about 43% stayed in their teams after project completion This corresponds to an estimated direct new job creation of 61,000 additional employment positions in participating organisations after the end of the project.
The Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions under FP7 supported about 50,000 researchers of 136 different nationalities working in more than 81 countries.
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