EU Competitiveness Council fails to fully recognise the societal value of research
Science Europe © thinkpublic

EU Competitiveness Council ‘fails’ to fully recognise the societal value of research

Science Europe supports some of the conclusions adopted today by the EU Competitiveness Council, but is disappointed by the lack of ambition in others.

Science Europe supports the council as it reaffirms the necessity to prioritise R&I across all relevant EU policies and programmes.

It shares the council’s view that “R&I collaboration at the EU level has been a very successful example of European co-operation and integration”, which is why Science Europe regrets that the council only calls for “significant funds for the next EU R&D&I Framework Programme”.

More emphasis on value of research is needed, according to Science Europe, from the council and its support to broadening the notion of impact and to better recognise research’s wide-ranging contributions to knowledge and society.

Stephan Kuster, acting director of Science Europe, said: “We expected a stronger emphasis on the intrinsic value of knowledge creation through research and on the wider value of science to society, in line with the Tallinn Call for Action recently released by the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU.”

Science Europe raises concerns with regards to the current shift towards higher technology readiness levels in Horizon 2020.

It regrets that the council has not made more balanced conclusions that recognise the importance of collaborative basic research in tackling societal challenges and developing new technologies.

The EU Competitiveness Council echoes Science Europe’s call for a rationalisation of the EU R&I partnership landscape, made in its recent Policy Brief on Public to Public Partnerships (P2Ps).

Science Europe, however, does not advocate the co-ordination of all national research spending.