EUA welcomes mission-oriented Research & Innovation in the successor of Horizon 2020

03 April 2018

EUA welcomes the introduction of mission-oriented research and innovation (R&I) in the next EU Framework Programme for R&I (‘FP9’) and sketches out four general conditions and six recommendations for successful implementation in its response to the European Commission’s call for feedback on ‘Mission-Oriented R&I in the European Union’.

The EUA response to the call for feedback on the recently published report by Professor Mariana Mazzucato (University College London) on mission-oriented research and innovation in the EU sets out four framework conditions for successful missions and identifies six challenges and opportunities for mission-driven research and innovation in FP9. It was developed by EUA’s Research Policy Working Group (RPWG) in close collaboration with the Board of the Association.

Mission-oriented research and innovation can provide a crucial link between the grand challenges of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the multidisciplinary research and innovation knowledge needed to tackle them. The response underlines that EU investment in research and innovation is necessary to achieve these goals, in line with the general plea for a doubling of the budget for FP9, as argued in a recent joint statement by EUA and other university networks.

It further highlights that European universities, with about 19.5 million students, an estimated 738,000 doctoral candidates and almost 710,000 researchers are the world largest reservoir of creative, innovative and highly-skilled people who fuel the continent’s labour market and economy and who will do so in the future. In this context, universities can fully untap their potential, however, only when the following four framework conditions are met: Missions should create a level playing field; foster the involvement of a broad range of stakeholders; build on flexible and dynamic projects of different sizes; and, ultimately, ensure citizens involvement to maximise social benefits.

Looking ahead, the EUA response flags six recommendations and opportunities for mission-oriented research and innovation in the next Framework Programme, namely striking a balance between direction and experimentation; implementing missions in a multi-level governance system; putting responsible, collaborative and multidisciplinary research at the centre of missions; strengthening the links between education, research and innovation; attracting and retaining talent, including identifying and supporting qualified scholars among the influx of refugees and migrants in Europe; and, last but not least, balancing short- and long-term goals with long-term benefits of missions post 2027.

EUA response to the EC call for feedback on the Mazzucato report.

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