Brussels, May 2, 2011
Future EU research and innovation funding: consultation showing broad support for Commission ideas
Researchers and entrepreneurs across the EU welcome the Commission's concept of a Common Strategic Framework for future EU research and innovation funding. This is the interim conclusion based on over 470 responses received so far to the consultation launched by the Commission with its February 2011 Green Paper. Nearly all respondents stress the importance of simplifying procedures for applying for funding and accounting for its use. The Common Strategic Framework will cover funding currently provided through the Framework Programme for Research (FP7), the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) (IP/11/138 and MEMO/11/76). Over 420 completed online questionnaires have so far been received and over 50 position papers have been posted and can be read online by anyone interested. Many more responses are expected as stakeholders still have until 20 May 2011 to respond. 28 500 people from 134 countries have visited the consultation web site: http://ec.europa.eu/research/csfri/index_en.cfm.
European Commissioner for Research and Innovation Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said: "I am very encouraged by the strong response so far to the consultation. I invite interested parties who have not yet given us their views to do so by 20 May and I guarantee that every contribution will be taken into account. The main message for the Commission is already emerging loud and clear and it is a message that I very much welcome: we must go further in cutting red tape and in being innovative ourselves if we want to release the full potential of EU funded research and innovation to tackle global challenges, create growth and jobs and improve daily lives in Europe and beyond. "
The consultation will be followed by a major conference on 10 June in Brussels. More than 700 scientists, entrepreneurs, politicians and other stakeholders will convene to discuss the consultation outcome.
The results of the consultation and the conference will underpin the Commission's proposal on future EU research and innovation funding, to be presented by the end of the year. The new system will come into force, subject to approval by the European Parliament and the Council, when the current programmes end on 31 December 2013.
More flexibility and curiosity driven activities
Beside simpler rules many participants underline the need for more curiosity driven activities to unlock the creative potential of Europe, with high-risk projects which can bring significant societal and economic benefits.
Many respondents are also stressing the need to interact with the public more directly, for example by a stronger emphasis on science education, science information and promotion of science, with a clear role for the national and regional levels.
Two-thirds of the respondents so far are individuals, the remaining third comprising in equal proportions commercial organisations and universities or other higher education establishments. About 10% of the respondents identify themselves as representing an SME.
More than half of the respondents have received funding through FP7.
Over 1000 proposals received to name new funding programme
Alongside the consultation on the content of the new programme, the Commission is running a competition, announced by Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn on 28 March, to find an inspiring name for the programme (IP/11/371).
Until 10 May anyone interested can present their proposals online at:
An international jury will then select a shortlist of three to be put to a public vote. So far over 1 000 proposals have been received.