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EUA Vice-President Paul Boyle outlines improvements for FP9 at European Parliament hearing

29 June 2017

Invited by the European Parliament’s committee on budget control, EUA’s newly nominated Vice-President Paul Boyle shared his views on the cost effectiveness of the Horizon 2020 programme and the participation of the United Kingdom.

The hearing was organised by the Parliament as part of a series of consultations with research and innovation stakeholders to start developing the future EU framework programme (FP9). 

Paul Boyle underlined the added value of European research collaboration, showing the higher rating of research supported by Horizon 2020 in comparison to other national funding schemes. He highlighted the special characteristics of the programme, unique in the scale of funding it provides to international research consortia. Paul Boyle called for mission-driven research, a concept the European Commission is currently seeking to develop for FP9. He also stressed the need for strengthened scientific oversight in the evaluation of proposals. 

In his intervention, Paul Boyle strongly echoed EUA’s concerns regarding the remaining level of administrative burden in the programme, underfunding of excellence and unsustainably low success rates. He advocated for simplification – a key element of which would be the acceptance, by the European Commission, of nationally recognised institutional accounting practices – and increased funding, including structural funds to boost research and innovation capacities of underrepresented countries and regions in Horizon 2020.

In a meeting where the Commission expressed the intention to move from a “reimbursement” to an “entitlement” logic, experimenting the use of lump-sums already in the final work programme (2018-2020) of Horizon 2020, caution was also expressed about potential impact on cost coverage for beneficiaries.

The European Commission will kick-start the official FP9 consultation process next Monday, with the release of the recommendations of the high level group on maximising the impact of EU research and innovation programmes, chaired by Pascal Lamy.

European University Association (EUA)

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