European Research and Innovation Days: Co-creating the European Research Area with the next three presidencies

Session on Co-creating the European Research Area with the next three presidencies took place on 23 September 2020.

Moderator: Anna Panagopoulou, Director of the Common Implementation Centre, European Commission

Speakers :

Representants from the current Presidency Trio – Germany, Portugal and Slovenia

  • Wilfried Kraus, Deputy Director General of Directorate 22 “European Cooperation in Education and Research“, German Federal Ministry of Education and Research
  • Helena Pereira, President of Foundation for Science and Technology in Portugal
  • Tomaz Boh, DG, Ministry of Science, Education and Sport of Slovenia
  • Marc Schiltz, President of Science Europe

This session offered an opportunity to get to know more in detail the proposed areas of intervention of the ERA Communication and to discuss with each of the three presidencies what they will focus on and to provide feedback on their proposed actions. Firstly, speakers were invited to share their views on the successes and failures of the ERA so far.

Speakers have agreed that ERA has achieved to support mobility of researchers and enhance European collaboration in science and research. There are countless examples of successful ERA activities including ESFRI, open science pushing for excellence of European research.

However, the main drawback of ERA is that nearly nobody (outside researchers´ community or even within) knows about it. ERA exists for 20 years already but is not sufficiently tangible for researchers, unlike single market that is reality and brings clear benefits.

ERA´s common goal to ensure research and innovation driven contributions for new sustainable growth. ERA should offer flexibility that will promote a broader inclusiveness and will give unbiased opportunity to all member states.

The Presidency Trio shares a vision of ERA that should become more dynamic and real for researchers and politicians. In the coming 18 months, this vision will be broken down into concrete actions including setting up governance and monitoring system. There is lot on the plan and presidencies aim to bring things forward. On top of this, presidencies aim to involve society; it is important that they follow research and innovation and are able to trust it.

ERA Communication and Council Conclusions present a starting point. Beyond this, we have to find concrete measures, deliver solutions, gain more participation of member states because Horizon Europe is of value but it presents only 10 % of overall European research budget, the remaining 90% lies with member states.

This is an ambitious plan and it is aligned with activities in the field of education, where also a roadmap is developed.

Core of the activities of the Portuguese Presidency will be promotion of research and innovation communities and for that purpose, three key issues were identified:

  1. Strengthening science in society by fostering employment and creating resilience, skills agenda
  2. Promoting researchers in Europe be removing obstacles, promoting working conditions alongside the support of the professionalization of RI activities, balanced circulation of talents, push for attractiveness of research careers
  3. Establishment of new frontiers for European science, collective commitment
  4. The 3% GDP goal might be reset and broken down into 2/3 private funding, 1/3 public funding, convergence of different funding instruments should be ensured

Core of the activities of the Slovenian Presidency will present more implementation of the already agreed framework:

  • Establishment of efficient and appropriate governance system that carries out the implementation. Unclear what the government structure will be, but political ownership and commitment of the project needs to be ensured also outside research and science policy
  • Coherence is also of crucial importance, there are so many different processes in Europe related to cohesion policy, in a way, all of them should be connected with ERA, we should have umbrella concept for all
  • Ability – we should find proper balance between ad-hoc and permanent formations like ERA
  • Monitoring of ERA results will be another big issue tackled through Slovenian presidency

In the light of the COVID-19 pandemics, we have seen how evidence based approach was enormously important, collaboration and sharing was flowing directly into the policies. Science and research stepped out from their daily business and it became clear that research is necessary. Data has been shared in an unprecedented way globally, we should continue on that track and create framework conditions so that this becomes irreversible.

The “final” ERA would accomplish European open access area with open access to research publications, sharing data in interoperable systems, these are important priorities for the future.

End note: Science Europe has been working closely with Portuguese presidency on high-level workshop on 18 November, objective: identify key areas for action in the coming years

Geographical focus
  • European Union (EU 28)
  • WBC
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary

Entry created by Admin WBC-RTI.info on September 23, 2020
Modified on September 23, 2020