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European Commission outlines R&D future

The European Commission has outlined the region's direction on the framework for research and innovation
The European Commission (EC) outlined the region's direction on the future Common Strategic Framework (CSF) for research and innovation, with a commitment to developing a strategic, integrated and simplified set of funding instruments, at a conference in Brussels.

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the Commissioner for Research Innovation and Science, welcomed the broad consensus from the thousands of responses to the Commission Green Paper on the CSF. She said: "It has also become clear that Europe is facing an innovation emergency. We must prioritise innovation to ensure that we don't fall behind our competitors."

The comments were welcomed by EuropaBio. It believes that the five key elements at the core of the CSF should be:
•    an integrated strategic approach, breaking away from the traditional compartmentalised methods;
•    broader and more flexible support measures throughout the different stages of the development process, from grants to equity funding and demand-side policies;
•    dedicated and more attractive support to SMEs, from targeted communication efforts to financial support;
•    simplification and harmonisation of the application rules so that a balance is achieved between transparency and simplicity;
•    and finally greater involvement from industry in defining priorities for future proposals and roadmaps.

Nathalie Moll, secretary general of EuropaBio, said: "We are pleased to see that the Commission's thinking on the future CSF is in line with so many of EuropaBio's key recommendations.

"Currently R&D funding accounts for 2 per cent of GDP in the EU, which is still lower than Japan and the US where it accounts for 3.4 and 2.8 per cent respectively. China is also catching up with Europe fast, where it now accounts for 1.4 per cent. In order for Europe to meet the ambitious targets set out in the 2020 strategy, it is essential that innovation is made a top priority and that sufficient financial resources are allocated to research and innovation policies, at EU, national and regional level," she added.

13th June 2011

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