23 Feb 2017   |   Policy paper

EU SFIC Opinion: Open FP9 to global excellence

A forum within the European Research Area Committee (ERAC) — a committee that advises the Council, the Commission and member states on the governance of the European Research Area —has given an opinion criticising Horizon 2020 for largely failing to improve international participation.

The Strategic Forum for International Science & Technology Cooperation (SFIC), calls for a reprioritisation of international cooperation within FP9, laying out specific steps to achieve this — including a dedicated place in the future structure.

SFIC has stated that greater international cooperation is needed in order to attract and achieve excellence, as well as to tackle global challenges. They say that Horizon 2020 has only around half the level of international participation as was seen in FP7.

The paper points out a number of barriers to participation by third countries. They provide, as an example, the requirement for matched funding and approval as a bottleneck consortia containing third countries. Another example given is the lack of involvement of third countries in the programming phase of Horizon 2020 — so reducing their ownership.

To rectify the low participation of third countries, they suggest working with them in the run-up to FP9 to address these barriers to their participation. Finally, they recommend that international cooperation should receive a specific place within FP9’s structure, potentially based on the main supporting tool of Horizon 2020 in this regard: The Service Facility.                

From the text:

 “Commissioner’s Moedas “Open to the world” strategy…requires dedicated tools within the Framework Programme in order to be successfully implemented”

“Specific actions for international cooperation with mandatory third country participation (in the spirit of the FP7’s SICA actions) should be considered in key areas”.

The full report is available here.

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