13 Mar 2018   |   Policy paper

Next Framework should focus on innovators and high-risk inventions, university group urges

The University of Twente and its European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU) partners have put forward a joint vision on the future EU programme for Research and Innovation (FP9). With the recommendations gathered, ECIU wishes to increase the impact of FP9. ECIU looks forward to working together with European stakeholders on the future of the European Research & Innovation landscape.

European research and innovation funding has proven to be indispensable for the ECIU members. To enhance the impact of FP9, a substantial budget increase is necessary to cover the excellent ideas put forward. ECIU joins the existing calls for a substantial increase of the budget to at least 160 billion euros.

Supporting Open Innovation

To maximise the impact, Open Innovation must be the underlying approach of FP9. ECIU looks forward to the formation of a European Innovation Council (EIC) and agrees with the High-Level Group of Innovators that the future EIC must focus on the innovator and high-risk inventions.

Impact as a focus for funding distribution

It is essential that FP9 places the criteria of potential impact and excellence in a broad context. ECIU gives a cautious welcome to the exploration of a mission-driven approach in some areas of research. Well defined missions can liberate innovative thinking and encourage setting more ambitious goals that are essential for reaching breakthroughs.

Engaging with societal actors and citizens

ECIU, through its experience with regional engagement, recognises the importance of collaboration with society, public institutions, industry and citizens. FP9 must take opportunities for co-creation and regional engagement forward by mobilising joint investment, including co-creation and citizen science in its framework and recognising the importance of science communication.

Involve education

The role of universities in providing higher education must be recognised in the formation of FP9. At ECIU Member universities, innovation and entrepreneurship are embedded in higher education. Including education helps achieving impact of research and innovation investments.

The European Consortium of Innovative Universities is a consortium of research intensive universities, with collective emphasis on innovation, creativity and societal impact. The member universities have a long track record in university-industry interaction and collaborating within their region. Formed in 1997, ECIU Members act at the forefront of modern universities and see themselves as a coalition of the willing, willing to change traditional university culture and methods of working. ECIU looks forward to collaborate with European stakeholders on the nature of a modern, innovative university.

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