ERRIN FP9 Position Paper

Date: 01/01/2017

More than ever, Europe needs growth and jobs. We must focus on research and innovation with European-added value while strengthening and encouraging equivalent support and investment in regions and Member States.

Building an effective and well-resourced European research and innovation strategy post-2020 requires input from a range of stakeholders. These stakeholders often work together in partnership at the city or regional level combining proximity with critical mass. Thus ERRIN argues that effective research and innovation is increasingly dependent on strong research and innovation ecosystems embedded in regions and cities.

These ecosystems are often more likened to value constellations (muddy ponds[1]) than research pipelines. In addressing the key societal issues we face, they join up research and innovation stakeholders, including those that need the know how to adapt the policies and those that are at the receiving end, cities and citizens, in the elaboration and the implementation of research and innovation strategies and actions both within the region and, just as importantly in a globalised world[2], between regions.  Thus supporting collaborative research and innovation and internationalisation is a real EU added value and should be enhanced in the next programming period.

In order to build research and innovation capacity, Member States and regions should aim for and reach the 3% investment target in research and innovation[3] and also strengthen quadruple helix networks at the regional level linked to the development and implementation of regional smart specialisation strategies.


·     Collaborative research is a key EU added value and must be adequately resourced, protected and strengthened with emphasis on ambitious grant-based funding.

·     ERRIN supports the European Parliament’s proposal for a major increase in funding. The structure of Horizon 2020 (H2020) based on excellence and featuring three pillars should be retained and changes made in a spirit of evolution not revolution with the three pillars better connected to ‘unlock excellence’ for the benefit of all EU citizens.

·     The programme should derive impact, innovation and internationalisation from Commissioner Moedas’ 3 O’s structure (Open Science, Open Innovation and Open to the World).

·     More focus should be placed on the impact of research and innovation actions at the territorial level.

·     Increased attention should be placed on developing synergies between the H2020 programme and Cohesion Policy at the regional level. ERRIN recommends close cooperation between DG Regio and DG RTD in the elaboration of future programmes with an emphasis on ‘joined up’ actions.

·     Research and innovation should reach out to society and better involve citizens with more attention paid to ‘societal readiness levels’ that would influence the composition of consortia and the communication and dissemination actions aimed at increasing societal impact.


[1] ‘In reality, our innovation economy is not a Roman aqueduct but a "muddy pond". Rich but obscure. Innovation requires of all actors, corporate, academic, civic and political…’ Robert Madelin ‘Opportunity now: Europe’s mission to innovate’ July 2016


[3] As called for in the Aho Report 2006!