EU’s RDI activities require ambitious investment as well as greater clarity, efficiency and impact

10 Jul 2024

The Research Council of Finland and Business Finland have issued a joint statement calling for ambitious investment in the EU’s RDI activities during 2028–2034 with a view to safeguarding the Union’s global competitiveness.

The statement on the next EU Research and Innovation Framework Programme (FP10) points out that safeguarding the Union’s global competitiveness can only be reached by investing in RDI on par with our competitors, meaning an ambitious budget of FP10.

The Research Council of Finland and Business Finland are keen to stress that the challenges faced by society today can only be properly addressed if FP10 funding is based on excellence and quality.

Furthermore, the statement says that FP10 must maintain a clear focus on RDI so that non-RDI activities can be implemented in other EU programmes. It is also important that more strategic and structured support is made available to innovation: the scaling-up and exploitation of research results and the development of new business models should be seen as independent, coherent sets of actions.

According to the statement there is a need for new and more effective mechanisms to bridge the innovation gap between EU countries. However, it is necessary to consider whether the actions required could be financed from a separate widening budget outside of FP.

Overall, the Research Council of Finland and Business Finland point out that the best practices and experiences from FPs over the past decades provide a solid foundation for more effective programme implementation and that these practices should be continued. Participation in the framework programme should be made easier, and the co-funding mechanism for partnerships, for example, should be drastically improved and simplified.

The joint statement also says that while a mission driven approach can strengthen competitiveness it needs to be examined whether the EU missions have met their ambitious goals during the first half of Horizon Europe. According to the statement it is necessary to consider whether an overall coordination of mission activities between different EU programmes could be organised outside FP10. However, any reorganisation of missions should be done without extracting funds from FP10.

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