CoR Opinion: Increase in EU R&I funding would benefit all regions
The Committee of the Regions' (CoR) SEDEC Commission (Commission for Social Policy, Education, Employment, Research and Culture) adopted a draft opinion on the "Local and Regional Dimension of the Horizon 2020 Programme and the New Framework Programme for Research and Innovation" on 8 June 2017. From the perspective of the CoR rapporteurs, Horizon 2020 has been a success, but further effort is needed to step up European R&I beyond the framework programme. The draft opinion was released in the context of the current EC mid-term evaluation of Horizon 2020 and calls for a return to R&I as a budgetary and policy priority.
SEDEC Rapporteur Christophe Clergeau from France underlined that the budget for the next framework programme should be increased to at least EUR 120 billion, without compromising cohesion policy within which R&I should be a greater priority. The CoR regards bridging the innovation gap between regions and between Member States as a key element and emphasises that the framework programme must help to strengthen R&I capacity in cities and regions and to promote the ability of all regions to take part in Horizon 2020 contributing with high-quality projects.
The draft opinion also seeks to clarify the debate on R&I synergies with other EU policies, claiming that such synergies should be built on the principles of coherence, compatibility, complementarity and co-construction, as well as the ecosystems principle. According to the draft opinion, the European added value of the framework programme is primarily based on its collective and collaborative dimension and on its contribution to creating a network of researchers and innovation ecosystems. Therefore excellence should be measured against not only its scientific impact but also its capacity to lead to open and collaborative innovation and the development of new products and services and to ensure employment and well-being for the inhabitants of cities and regions.
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