Research and Innovation funding

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EESK:s yttrande: Research and Innovation funding

Key points:

While welcoming the Commission green paper and the goals it formulates, the Committee recommends that the European Commission should in particular:

- develop an integrated strategy for research and innovation;
- finally raise the future budget for research and innovation to the level that truly reflects their stated importance and key role within the Europe 2020 strategy;
- simplify the required administrative procedures and decision processes;
- concentrate on transnational tasks – such as collaborative research in particular – which provide European added value;
- target structural funds to as yet under-represented regions;
- support the development of "key enabling technologies";
- assign 20% of the total FP8 budget to that part of the programme which is governed by the European Research Council;
- support construction and maintenance of large R&D infrastructures (ESFRI list);
- support innovations, including social, economic, workplace and "creative industry" innovations;
- improve the rules for support to SMEs and micro-companies;
- establish and develop a risk capital framework, with easy access in particular for SMEs, and extend and adapt the Risk-Sharing Finance Facility to this end;
- reconsider the role of state aid, public procurement and competition laws.

Moreover, the Committee appeals to the Member States to fulfil their essential part of the Europe 2020 strategy by investing more – even at a time of budgetary constraints – in education (especially universities), R&D and innovation, and finally reaching or preferably exceeding the famous 3% R&D goal, which dates back to the Lisbon strategy.

For more information please contact the INT Section Secretariat