support the proposed initiative to provide a framework to boost efforts that bring together and strengthens activities currently funded under the 7th Framework Programme for research, the innovation parts of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme, and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology;
complement the key proposals of the European Commission to create the concepts, tools and other pre-conditions through which local and regional authorities can actively promote innovation, take risks and invest in the practical application of RDI, so as to provide a tailored regional dimension;
highlight the role of LRAs in these domains and develop their involvement in devising and implementing the measures at EU level
The final text of the Horizon 2020 Regulation took into account points from the amendments suggested in the Horizon 2020 CoR opinion and includes many references to the role of the regional authorities and stakeholders in accordance with the points raised in the Horizon 2020 CoR opinion, among them:
The JRC shall provide scientific and technical support for Union policies in collaboration with the relevant national and regional research stakeholders;
In addition to Union, national and regional structural policies, Horizon 2020 shall also contribute to the closing of the research and innovation divide within the Union by promoting synergies with the ESI Funds;
Horizon 2020 shall contribute to the strengthening of public-public partnerships, as and when appropriate, where actions at regional, national or international level are jointly implemented within the Union;
The objectives of the priority "Excellent Science" form a powerful and balanced set of activities which, in concert with activities at national, regional and local level, span the breadth of Europe's needs regarding advanced science and technology;
Support for research and innovation in KETs that may be provided by national or regional authorities under the Cohesion Policy Funds within the framework of smart specialisation strategies will be complemented by KETs interactions with other industrial enabling technologies.
Following an invitation from the European Commission the rapporteur became a member of the Smart Specialisation Platform (mirror group and steering group).
The European Research Area (ERA) is at the heart of the Europe 2020 strategy and its Innovation Union (IU) policy flagship . The European Council in its conclusions called for the ERA to be completed by 2014 and to become a single market for knowledge, research and innovation.
THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
has the following key messages:
- The proposed Council Regulation and the implementation plans of Horizon 2020 need to have a stronger focus and impact on real-life practices, i.e. local and regional level needs to be challenged for active participation to reach the Europe 2020 strategy targets;
- The Horizon 2020 three-pillar system brings extensive added value to European Research;
- Horizon 2020 should fund the research and development of concepts, methods and other forms of intellectual capital needed for the cooperation of regions and cities, universities and business on innovation and valorisation of knowledge;
- Regions and cities should include Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) as an essential part of their core policy agenda. Horizon 2020 and Cohesion funding should be used to create the concepts, tools and other pre-conditions through which local and regional authorities can actively promote innovation, take risks and invest in the practical application of RDI, so as to provide a tailored regional dimension;
- The CoR proposes a strategic objective for Horizon 2020 to create the European open innovation culture via dedicated programmes and other instruments. Innovation ecosystems, key enabling technologies, public procurement and research infrastructures require extensive developments;
- Renewing the framework programme means simplification of the programme practices and increasing the impact of EU-funded RDI projects;
- Also a change of mindset is required in order to reach the set goals. CoR calls for pioneering regions to form European consortiums integrating different capabilities to create ground-breaking societal innovations for Europe-wide use; European Institute of Innovation and Technology EIT can add special value also to the regional level.