Opinion Factsheet  

ENHANCING AND FOCUSING EU INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION IN RESEARCH AND INNOVATION

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Opinion Number: CDR 2076/2012
Rapporteur: MARKKULA Markku
Commission: EDUC-V
Status: Currently in discussion
Date: 12/04/2013
 
support the proposed initiative to prepare a clear, concise and comprehensive framework as a basis for a more strategic approach to international cooperation in research and innovation in Europe;
complement the key proposals of the European Commission (acknowledges that world scientific specialisation and relative quality opens up international cooperation opportunities based on complementarities, and commends the efforts presented in the Communication for mapping scientific strengths and weaknesses on a supra-national level);
highlight the role of LRAs in these domains and develop their involvement in devising and implementing the measures at EU level.
The opinion on "Enhancing and focusing EU international cooperation in research and innovation" points out that local and regional authorities are important stakeholders in international cooperation as well as in coordinating research and innovation activities. Their policies have a significant impact in developing research infrastructures and establishing innovative environments (universities, technology centres, business incubators, science parks and venture capital-friendly milieus) able to attract scientists and innovators and to create the substantive and operational conditions for robust growth of intellectual capital.
The opinion also recalls that the Europe 2020 strategy underlines the importance of research and innovation in delivering smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Innovation Union, as part of Europe 2020, emphasises the important role of international cooperation in realising Europe’s innovation potential.
THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS



- points out that local and regional authorities have a key role to play in the European Research Area (ERA). Regions and cities bring together, within their territory, the main players of the innovation triangle, a mix of academia, universities, research players and several economic and industrial communities along different innovation value chains and value networks. They are key players in developing regional research innovation strategies and creating the right framework conditions for innovative environments;

- appreciates specific mention in the communication of regional and international dimensions of instruments in the FP7 Capacities programme, and calls for visibility of international research collaboration in the next programming period, taking into account the positive experience with the Regions of Knowledge programme and linking it to future ERA-NET initiatives;

- stresses that international cooperation must be based on common principles on research integrity, the gender dimension, corporate social responsibility, open access and intellectual property. The climate and environmental dimension, which ties in with "sustainable development" also has to be taken into consideration;

- underscores the regional relevance and significant (potential) benefits of research infrastructures, including e-infrastructures. They provide the facilities (high performance computational and communication resources, remote instruments and data-sets) needed to carry out world-class R&I collaboration regardless of country and geographical location.