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26 Aug 2015

Science Europe issues statement on the future of Joint Programming

Science Europe, the association of major European research funding and research performing organisations, issued a statement on how it sees the future of Joint Programming on 25 August 2015. Six years after the Lund Declaration on grand challenges and five years after the launch of the first Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs), Science Europe claims it is time for European policy makers and society at large to take stock and discuss the future of public policies addressing today's grand challenges such as global warming, ageing societies, public health, access to food and water, and security, amongst others.

According to Science Europe, EU Member States have delivered on the Lund Declaration by forging both European and national strategies in relation to grand challenges. The European Union is now supporting this stock-taking process by conducting an evaluation of JPIs and stimulating debate around them. Science Europe's statement is a contribution to this debate.

Science Europe’s members consider JPIs to be valuable instruments to address major societal challenges by linking up the whole research and innovation chain and leveraging available resources; however, they claim that the current narrative used to describe the added value of JPIs largely falls short of the role that JPIs actually play.

Ahead of the planned second Lund conference, which will revisit the grand challenges approach launched in Lund in 2009, Science Europe urges policy makers to avoid what it calls "allowing simplistic ‘fragmentation’ narratives to guide future decisions on JPIs". Policy makers should instead fully exploit the upcoming evaluation of JPIs to identify the their strengths and weaknesses and to chart their future course. Science Europe also invites the European Commission and national policy makers to mirror successful national governance models at the European level and involve relevant stakeholders in the governance of JPIs.

Amanda Crowfoot, Director of Science Europe, said: “After several years of experience, JPIs are now maturing and need to be consolidated in order to fully deliver on their potential. As a result, it is important for all JPI stakeholders to reflect on their own roles with regards to JPIs, as well as on the wider role of JPIs within the European Research Area. A shared understanding of the role and impact of JPIs is essential, and will help to ensure appropriate criteria for assessment and fruitful future policy directions.”

For further Information:

Science Europe - press release

Science Europe Position Statement (download)

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