Why it’s important
It is a fact that investment in research and innovation is at the core of economic and social development of any society at any time. World leading Research & Innovation is critical to the promotion of the wealth and well-being of citizens and key for the realisation of the ideal of the European Union (EU) and to address the Sustainable Development Goals.
It is clear from studies on previous Framework Programmes that every Euro spent on Research & Innovation will generate roughly five-fold the investment in economic benefit, as well as improving social, health and environmental standards.
However, research and innovation still represents less than 10% of the total EU budget.
The economic, social and environmental development of tomorrow depends on the discoveries of today. This must be reflected in the next Research Framework Programme Horizon Europe and that’s why we are urging the European Parliament and the EU Council to increase the Horizon Europe budget as recommended by the Lamy report to 150 Billion Euros.
We also strongly encourage Horizon Europe to expand the extremely successful programmes initiated in previous Framework programmes, namely the ERC grant system and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, in addition to collaborative projects that address technological and environmental challenges facing our society today. These actions attract and foster the best and brightest minds, and encourage ground-breaking research that will ensure Europe’s leadership in technological and biomedical innovation in the future.
Expected timing of impact of research outputs in Horizon Europe should as well be realistically adjusted to a longer timescale and its definition broadened beyond economic competitiveness to include wider social impact. The highest value over time comes from high-risk, open-ended excellent research. This should be the main priority of public funding such as Horizon Europe. The investment in close to the market stages will then follow from the private sector.
What we are doing
As an alliance of excellent performing life-science research institutes in Europe, EU-LIFE is committed to teaming up with European institutions and relevant stakeholders to promote better research value in and for Europe.
This include contributing to the public debate and working directly with policy makers for the development of research strategies and concomitant frameworks that deliver science-based solutions to the citizens.
Special attention has been given in participating at an early stage in European-level dialogue on EU framework programmes shaping, providing input to policy makers and advocating for our vision on key priorities: reinforcing scientific excellence; creating a broader definition of impact to support breakthrough scientific discoveries; investing in efficient models to connect research and professional knowledge transfer; enabling outstanding science and innovation in all corners of Europe; and attracting and training the next generation of scientists.
Our regular contributions include: answering the European Commission calls for ideas such as for the Horizon Europe programme and on the European Innovation Council; reviewing implementation procedures, such as under the H2020 mid-term evaluation; as well as sharing EU-LIFE views on research excellence from an institutional perspective through position papers and reports like "Key elements for excellence in research".
With aim of contributing to the strategic programming of Horizon Europe, EU-LIFE’s partners ran an internal study in 2019 regarding participation in collaborative R&I projects in the H2020’s Health Challenge. The study confirmed there is an increasing lack of opportunities for collaborative research in the Horizon 2020 Framework programme and allowed to explore the potential barriers for EU-LIFE researchers to participate on it. This study led to a set of recommendations for the strategic programming of Horizon Europe that have been presented to relevant policy makers at European, national and regional level.