On 17 February 2017, the EUA Research Policy Working Group (RPWG) took forward the EUA vision paper for the next EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (FP9) and discussed its outlines with the European Commission (EC).
The meeting with the EC’s Renzo Tomellini, Head of Unit, A.3: Horizon 2020 Policy, DG Research and Innovation, revolved around the three key priorities identified in EUA’s vision for FP9: providing long-term policies and funding instruments for research; reinforcing collaboration and minimising discrepancies across the EU; and seeking a stronger alignment of policies for education, research and innovation. The RPWG members further emphasised that these priorities are crucial for Europe’s universities in responding to the numerous complex challenges regarding societal demands, technological developments, greater global competition and demographics.
In addition, the RPWG focused on recent developments related to the mid-term review of Horizon 2020, including the issue papers prepared by the EC for the work of the High-Level Group on maximising the impact of EU research and innovation programmes, chaired by Pascal Lamy. Furthermore, it discussed the European Defence Action Plan and its potential implications for the university sector. The RPWG also validated the work of the EUA Expert Groups on Smart Specialisation and on Science 2.0/Open Science, and touched upon the European Research Area (ERA) Progress Report 2016, while underlining the continued importance of the ERA for universities in Europe.
EUA plans to continuously provide timely input to the discussions on the EU Multiannual Financial Framework and to the initial steps towards the creation of the next EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.
The occasion also marked the last meeting of the RPWG chaired by David Drewry, former Rector of the University of Hull in the UK. Drewry has been the Chair of the RPWG since 2009 and has played a key role in raising the profile of EUA in the European research policy arena. Future RPWG meetings will be chaired by EUA Vice-President Martine Rahier.