EUA Vice President Paul Boyle represented Europe’s universities at the European R&I Days in Brussels on 24-26 September 2019, speaking on behalf of 800+ EUA members and fourteen partner associations. During an official ceremony, he presented the European Commission with the call “Seize our common future”, advocating for an ambitious European budget for education, research and innovation.
The call has been gaining momentum over the last few weeks. The associations and the growing number of signatories urge the EU institutions and leaders to strengthen R&I investment at European level by raising the budget of the next EU Programme for R&I (2021-2027), Horizon Europe, and to invest in excellent, curiosity-driven, cross-border research and innovation.
“Research is the infrastructure, the roads and the bridges of our knowledge society,” Boyle said at the event. “It is essential to scale up the funding to 120 billion.”
In his speech, Boyle also stressed the need to promote social sciences and humanities in European research. He also highlighted that universities are at the heart of the knowledge triangle and innovation ecosystem.
The presentation and speech were particularly timely as the EU enters into a critical phase of negotiations over the Multiannual Financial Framework. Any organisation active in the European Union can sign the call. The more organisations and institutions that adhere, the more likely our leaders at EU-level and in national contexts will be in a strong position to promote a higher budget for education, research and innovation.
Members of the EUA secretariat, as well as leadership, participated in the European Research and Innovation Days. The event is designed to bring together stakeholders in the field to shape the future of research and innovation policy.
This communication was first published 1 October 2019 by the European University Association.