Commissioner Moedas comments on Lamy Report
In his closing speech at the conference "Research and Innovation - Shaping Our Future" in Brussels on 3 July 2017, Commissioner for Research and Innovation Carlos Moedas commented on the report by the High Level Group on maximising impact of EU Research and Innovation Programmes ("Lamy Report").
Mr. Moedas thanked Pascal Lamy and the members of the High Level Group and praised their report as being "clear, concise and straight to the point". The discussion at the conference had proved that Horizon 2020 had been "hugely successful overall", e.g. by supporting the very best new science, with the ERC as a European flagship, by being "the simplest and most user-friendly programme in the EU", or by bringing research and innovation together in a single programme.
According to the Commissioner, the Lamy Report with its 11 ambitious, but nonetheless essential, recommendations points out what needs to be changed in future nonetheless. The first recommendation, to double the Framework Programme's budget, "would overcome the huge waste of top quality proposals that currently go unfunded" and would also "set the path for Member States to follow". It is in line with the European Parliament's opinion that calls for € 120 billion for the next FP. However, such a budget increase would also involve difficult choices and new priorities, and require reforms, which are outlined in the remaining 10 recommendations.
Mr Moedas then highlighted what he considered to be the three messages cutting across these recommendations. The first is to "Look at the whole picture", meaning not just looking at Horizon 2020, but at the whole system, in order to "break down the silos between disciplines, between policies, and between programmes". Looking at education and training activities and university reforms would be a case in point, as is the "need to break down the silos between the Framework Programme and Structural Funds", or the improvements the Lamy Report points out as being required regarding State Aid rules.
The second message the Commissioner sees in the Lamy Report recommendations is to "Focus on the person". Building on the successful approach of the European Research Council (ERC) to address individual scientists, Mr. Moedas welcomes the Report's recommendation "to develop a European Innovation Council that focuses on the innovator".
The third cross-cutting message is to "Inspire Europe with mission-driven R&I". Adopting a mission-driven approach, the Commissioner believes, is the right way forward for the next FP. Defining these missions would need to be a collective process, the Commissioner said, but he also highlighted some of the points made in the Lamy report about missions: They must capture the public imagination; missions should be interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral and international; and they need to go beyond what is currently possible.
Concluding, Mr. Moedas said the political debate to shape the next Framework Programme would be a priority for the months to come, and that the Commission would use all the different inputs received to develop a proposal for FP9 that would be presented "around the summer of 2018". He also underlined that the Horizon 2020 Work Programme in autumn 2017 would "be a stepping stone towards the changes to come", and that it will include a pilot phase for the European Innovation Council.
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Photo: by European Commission