07 Mar 2019   |   News

101 ideas for European research from the grass roots

Expert group publishes report on Europe’s future research strategy, following its year-long, “Tour d’Europe”

The research, innovation and science policy experts group (RISE)

A high-level expert group appointed to advise research commissioner Carlos Moedas has published a collection of 101 ideas for the future of European research, put together following 17 events in 16 European capitals to look for inspiration.

The research, innovation and science policy experts group (RISE) travelled around Europe from June 2017 to August 2018 talking to researchers and think tanks about the direction European research should take. This week, it published the culmination of those efforts in a 50-page report.

RISE chair Daria Tataj said the 101 ideas are not intended as a set of concrete policy proposals. “This is not a strategy,” said Tataj. “This is a tool that allows [us] to create a common discussion around the policymaking at the European and member state level, or at the regional or city level,” she told Science|Business.

The 101 ideas are generally very broad. For example, the first idea is “the narrative must change,” meaning discussion of research and innovation should look beyond economic growth and productivity. Other ideas include “vision and values go hand-in-hand,” calling for a new vision for 2030; and “European framework programmes that make a real difference."

The project grew out of an earlier RISE report called “Europe’s future: Open innovation, open science, open to the world,” published in May 2017, which set out reflections on opportunities for European research.

From there, the group set up events around Europe to collect ideas in line with the report’s open theme for their report published this week.  Most of the ideas are composites based suggestions made in several cities, while some, such as “a long term financing framework to transform a knowledge-intensive economy” come from just one city.

The 16 cities were Paris, Stockholm, Madrid, Berlin, Helsinki, Vienna, Turin, Sofia, Athens, Porto, Tallinn (which included delegates from Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia), Warsaw, Brussels, Copenhagen, Belgrade, and Dublin. An additional event, the first, was held in the European Parliament.

The Belgrade event was the only one held outside the EU. Serbia is a candidate for EU membership, and Tataj said RISE went there at the request of organisations in the country. “They just were interested, and they were persistent in asking us to come, and we were impressed that they were so involved in this aspect of integration,” she said.

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