© Unsplash
© Unsplash

Guild calls for research improvements

The Guild of European Universities has called for significant increases in funding through Horizon 2020 and the next Framework Programme, FP9, and improved success rates for applicants.

The guild is a recently established network of 18 research-intensive universities from 13 countries across Europe.

In a report published on 16 January, it made nine recommendations for how European funding could strengthen research and innovation.

The report says that to ensure Europe’s scientific, economic, cultural and social potential is optimised, the budget for research and innovation must be significantly increased.

Improved application success rates are also needed to assure continued applications from Europe’s best researchers, through more active management of the application process.

The report said: ‘This represents an unacceptable waste of talent and potential where scientific advances could have been made and applied, for the benefit of Europe’s citizens. The funding of European research and innovation must be commensurate with the outstanding ideas generated by its scientists, entrepreneurs and businesses.’

The guild also called for funding for the Excellent Science Pillar, which it describes as a ‘critical foundation to outstanding frontier research, to at least be maintained at current levels’.

It added: ‘Individual and collaborative curiosity-driven research is the basis of the success of Horizon 2020, in the knowledge it creates and the impact it will generate. The Excellent Science Pillar has funded critically important science, promoting outstanding scholarship from across the career spectrum.

‘Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) have been essential for attracting and training new generations of internationally leading researchers, who in turn contribute to the creation of outstanding science in academia and industry.’