ERA Progress Report 2016 shows strong achievements and large disparities
On 26 January 2017 the European Commission published the ERA Progress Report 2016. The report summarises the state of play of ERA and the progress on ERA implementation over the period 2014-2016. For the first time progress on ERA has been measured for each country on each priority, on the basis of the ERA Monitoring Mechanism, a set of 24 core indicators jointly defined by Member States, research stakeholders and the Commission. The report also provides a first insight into the development of the ERA priorities, their link to the ERA Roadmap 2015-2020 and the main areas targeted in the ERA National Action Plans (National ERA Roadmaps).
The overall conclusions of the report confirm that ERA has made strong progress over the last years. All headline indicators show progress over time according to the EU-28 averages, although large disparities, both in performance levels as in growth rates between countries, exist. The ERA National Action Plans that have been published by Member States and Associated Countries are a clear proof of political ownership on all ERA priorities and show a high level of ambition to make further progress on ERA.
Concerning Austria’s performance towards achieving the ERA the report states that Austria is making progress towards the achievement of the ERA and performs well in most of the priority areas. Most of the headline indicators fall into Cluster 2, although Austria falls into Cluster 3 for the share of women among Grade A positions in the higher education sector (Priority 4) as well as the total share of papers in open access (Sub-priority 5b). Austria is a leader within the ERA in the collaboration between the higher education sector and private firms (Sub-priority 5a), which falls into Cluster 1. Despite relatively strong performance on the headline indicator in Priority 6, the other indicators in this area would suggest that it is an area for improvement for Austria.
Austria published a complete and detailed 2016 National Action Plan (National ERA Roadmap). This includes the main objectives, measures, instruments, milestones, and assessment tools to measure completion for all priorities. For instance, in regard to Priority 4 (in which Austria has more room for improvement), objectives outlined are as follows: ‘(a) Increasing the shares of women in all areas and at all hierarchy levels where they are under-represented; (b) Integrating the gender dimension into structures and policies in science and research; (c) Considering the gender dimension in research content and teaching’.