Background paper to the Lund Declaration 2015

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1 Background paper to the Lund Declaration 2015 content Lund Declaration State of play and progress since A robust challenge-based approach for real solutions...2 Alignment...3 Frontier research and European knowledge base...4 Global cooperation...5 Impact on global challenges...5 lund declaration 2009 The 2009 Lund Declaration concluded that European research must focus on the grand challenges of our time. To respond effectively, the European Research Area should develop processes for identifying and tackling grand challenges and move away from thematic approaches and aligning European and national instruments. Responses to grand challenges should take the form of broad areas of issue-oriented research in relevant fields. It requested Member States to develop more pro-active strategies on research priorities at regional, national and community level. The Declaration further called for European cooperation built on transparency and trust, involving stakeholders from both public and private sectors. A number of important prerequisites were identified: the need to strengthen frontier research initiated by the research community itself, the need for Europe to take the lead in the development of enabling technologies, the importance of bringing together supply and demand-side measures to support both business development and public policy goals. Furthermore the Declaration emphasized the importance of modernising universities, research institutions and the cooperation among them in order to create excellence and well networked knowledge institutions. The creation and maintenance of world class research infrastructures in Europe was emphasised as well as necessary changes in the European Communities financial regulation and rules in order to form a risk tolerant and trust-based approach in research funding. This background paper is based on dialogues with stakeholders and important actors. It forms the basis for the Lund Declaration 2015 to be presented in Lund at the conference Lund Revisited Tackling Societal Challenges. Lund Declaration 2015 stands firm on the statements in the Lund Declaration The implementation of the priority actions in the Lund Declaration 2015 is a common task for Member States, Associated Countries, the European Commission, stakeholder organizations, regions and academia to elaborate in the coming years. state of play and progress since 2009 The general view is that the Lund Declaration of 2009 has had a real impact on key features of European and national research and innovation policies and strategies. The first important step was taken with Horizon In addition, the Joint Programming process, launched in 2008 by the Commission and subsequent Conclusions of the Council, stimulated Member States and Associated Countries to jointly tackle societal challenges. The European research and innovation policy concept really made a clear shift from a fragmented European research and innovation system towards a more aligned challenge-based approach in the broader European Research Area (ERA). During the past six years a common understanding has emerged that the challenge-based approach must imply a more efficient use of investments in research and innovation and alignment of strategies, instruments, resources and actors at national and European level. This has resulted in the 10 Joint Programming Initiatives and in more structured and strategic processes whereby Member States and Associated Countries agree, on a voluntary basis and in a partnership approach, on common visions and Strategic Research Agendas (SRA). The 10 JPIs are scientifically broad and often multidisciplinary. They have constructed common research agendas and open calls. Member States and Associated Countries have to various degrees embraced the concept and committed themselves to investments and to align European and national instruments. The interoperability has been improved but visible signs of the uptake of results for real impact on the challenges still remain to be seen. The two studies Analysis of the state of play of the European Research Area in Member States and Associated 1

2 Countries: focus on priority areas Final report, 2014 (European Commission, 2014) and European Research Area Facts and Figures, 2014 (European Commission, 2014) give the following picture of the state of play and progress since 2009: Several Member States have developed national action plans, roadmaps and strategies in the domain of the JPIs in which they participate, with a view to strengthening their commitment to the Strategic Research Agendas of JPIs. In total their joint activities up to the end of 2013 amounted to more than 20 joint calls and joint actions for a total of more than 200 million Euro. This amount is still of a limited size considering that at European level with the exclusion of the Framework Programme and funding for major initiatives like the European Space Agency, less than 1% of national public R&D funding is spent on transnational research. However within the 10 JPIs, alignment is increasingly seen in a broader sense, e.g. cross border cooperation on priorities beyond research funding and joint calls. Regarding the current level of investments that goes into cross border collaboration Eurostat data indicate that public spending for R&D in Europe is 88 billion Euro in total. The share of national competitive funding is around 33% of this amount. As a result the Framework Programme provides more than 35% of the competitive research funding available in Europe. This results in limited availability of funding for calls under Joint Programming Initiatives and other P2P and the need to align resources that are supported via block-funding/institutional funding. Member States and Associated Countries like Norway, Turkey and Israel in general show a broad participation in the 10 JPIs. Canada and Switzerland are also participating as members of some JPIs. Those EU Member States that are not members of any JPI are involved in at least some as observers or as participants in joint calls. There is a strong level of 3 rd country participation (e.g. Canada, Egypt, South Africa, Taiwan, Tunisia and the USA) in the joint calls of FACCE and Water JPI. So far the JPIs have mobilised some 500 million Euro of budget commitments for joint calls but the actual spending up to now has been less than 200 million Euro. Around half of this is from just seven countries (Germany, Sweden, France, Netherlands, UK, Norway and Italy) and some JPIs dominate. However, it is now clear that the JPIs are taking full advantage of the H2020 ERA-NET Cofund instrument and the scale of investment should increase rapidly over the coming years. The financial support from the Commission (through CSAs and the ERA-NET instrument) has clearly been vital to the initial development of the JPIs during the past five years and it appears that this will continue to be the case. The interim findings of the Expert Group on Joint Programming show that there are a wide range of issues inhibiting progress and potential impact of the JPIs. These problems are among others related to a lack of ambitions of Member States and Associated Countries to support the JPIs, commitment in investments, national alignment, to national structures for coordination, to funding and management of JPIs, the role of the Commission and operational bureaucracy. These issues will be discussed and analyzed further in early The facts and figures from the studies show in conclusion that despite the efforts towards alignment of the past years it remains difficult to bring together a truly critical mass of resources for the societal challenges the world is addressing today. The efforts to jointly tackle societal challenges so far are not enough. The shift to a challenge-based approach for research and innovation within ERA has only begun. a robust challenge-based approach for real solutions The Declaration shaped six years ago is still urgent today. Many of the major challenges have been identified early on and still remain to be solved, some have been intensified. Looking at the current trends new ones are arising while the recovery from a deep economic recession limits public and private investments in research and innovation. Business as usual is not an option. The cost of not doing more would be too high. Looking at the past six years of cooperation the conclusion is that the European research and innovation system needs to be more effective in addressing societal challenges to the benefit of the European citizens. For that we need higher ambitions from all stakeholders and actors as well as accelerated pace and larger scope of efforts. In real terms this means we have to step-up the alignment of strategies, instruments, resources and actors supported by clear political commitments. This must be underpinned by an excellent science base, world-class research infrastructures and a new generation of researchers equipped with the right skills for tackling challenges. We also need to connect with partners around the world in advanced emerging and developing countries to attract the world s best researchers and innovators. And last but not least we have to focus on real impact on solutions that make visible change in the society. To achieve this the Lund Declaration 2015 points out four key policy areas; alignment, frontier research, global cooperation and impact with priority actions for each area. Together these areas shape a robust challenge-based approach. 2

3 alignment The brief description of the state of play show that the research and innovation funding landscape in Europe is still diverse and a relatively small share of the public research funding is coordinated through European initiatives or aligned across borders. This has made it difficult so far for the joint efforts to effectively tackle the societal challenges we are addressing today, with insufficient alignment of initiatives and institutional funding at national level. Thus there is a need for using the resources more optimally. Many countries can obviously do more and give a higher priority to challenge-based research and innovation. Moreover, there is no structured process in place that supports the Member States in jointly identifying and addressing new challenges that require urgent responses from research and innovation. While there are valuable experiences from on-going initiatives (JPIs, ERA-NETS, and initiatives under Article 185), these have not yet been translated into sufficiently flexible options for instruments and processes for Member States and Associated Countries to choose from in order to implement new areas of cooperation, and eventually ensure that resulting benefits are shared across Europe. Over the past 10 years several efforts have been made to move towards collaboration and interoperability across countries, instruments and sectors. The ERA-NET scheme started as a bottom-up experiment under FP6. It resulted in strong participation and it continues to mobilize substantial resources for cross border collaboration at programme level, mostly in the form of joint calls for transnational research projects. The Joint Programming approach is perhaps the most visible measure with 10 Joint Programming Initiatives established in key areas. Art. 185 initiatives provide long-term funding from the Participating States and the Commission in selected areas with a strong integration and high relevance to Horizon 2020 objectives. These initiatives also fully support the ERA objective Improving alignment within and across the Joint Programming Process and the resulting initiatives (e.g. Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs)) and speeding up their implementation. The work so far has provided us with valuable experiences but the obstacles in transnational collaboration are many and while some have been solved others remain unsolved. The general picture for the 10 JPIs is one of mixed progress in terms of mobilisation of resources and societal and economic impacts achieved. The commitment of the participating states varies quite significantly and this makes it difficult to implement joint actions. There is no evidence yet that the JPIs are able to mobilize greater national co-investment in joint calls than is the case for the best performing ERA-NETs. Already in 2013 at the Dublin Conference during the Irish Presidency of the EU this was identified as a critical issue and the alignment of strategies and research programmes and their joint implementation was emphasized. Since then progress regarding alignment has been slow and few JPIs have managed to pool significant resources or increase interoperability between national systems via alignment of national activities, be it competitive funding or institutional funding of research performing organizations. The Joint Programming process can only be successful when the participating states provide long-term commitment and political ownership. This requires alignment beyond research funding with national structures for coordination, funding and management of joint programming. It also requires the active involvement of societal stakeholders and industry to achieve impact. These conditions have yet to be put in place by most of the participating states. Alignment has to become forward-looking in order to facilitate future priorities. Further encouraging of alignment is necessary, also by using the ERA roadmap and national actions plans. We also need to make use of the variety in Europe s Member States and Associated Countries and go beyond the common program approach and view alignment more broadly and in a smarter way. Alignment also comprise institutional funding and the sharing of data, initiatives such as the SET-plan and efforts towards aligning national policies concerning large research infrastructures. Smart alignment based on a continuous exchange of information, discussions and joint strategic thinking opens up for regional, national and EU-level stakeholders to own their prioritization processes. The goals of smart alignment are to gather strength, increase readiness, avoid unnecessary overlaps, exploit synergies, and address key societal challenges. Smart alignment is a prerequisite to boosting contingency and sharpening preparedness both at national and EU level. In this broad perspective of alignment, focus is on the responsibility of each stakeholder and a definition of tasks, operations and the conditions under which they interoperate with others. This will allow for better collaboration and division of tasks and give better prerequisites for use of research results and use of new knowledge. It will also help to clarify to what extent and how the alignment within ERA can be designed. In developing systems to foster alignment, the ongoing efforts to design national smart specialisation strategies should also be considered. Particularly in cases where national resources are constrained, mechanisms for linking smart specialisation and societal challenge-based approaches need to be addressed, ensuring that these are mutually reinforcing. 3

4 In the view of smart alignment national priorities need to go beyond conventional national thinking. This would entail not only ministries which traditionally are responsible for research and innovation but also other ministries, for specific challenges. New Member States or Member States lagging behind adequate transnational cooperation on societal challenges, should be assisted with capacity-building exercises. Improved framework conditions for research and innovation (which is linked to the broader discussion on better regulation) are essential for optimally facilitating research and innovation. frontier research and european knowledge base The ability to tackle the grand societal challenges and to respond rapidly to new challenges is heavily dependent on an excellent science base in Europe. This ability has to be underpinned by curiosity driven frontier research initiated by the researcher themselves, thus providing the scientific basis. Hence Europe must maintain and raise the level of research excellence in general, ensure world-class research and research infrastructures and secure long-term competitiveness in Europe s science base by improving researchers working conditions, collaboration and possibilities for mobility. Quality must be ensured throughout the whole research system, by endorsing the best ideas, by creating gender equal opportunities to allow all researchers to realise their full potential, by supporting young talents in the education system, by providing researchers with access to priority research infrastructure, and by making all Europe an attractive location for the world s best researchers. Equally important is to increase the requirements related to research integrity to curb research fraud and misconduct to secure the independence of research. Investments in and coordination of research infrastructure across Europe has been essential in generating European research of highest quality. In addition, large infrastructures form important global hubs for research collaborations as they attract excellent researchers from across the globe. Continued strong investments in research infrastructures and continued efforts towards an aligned roadmap on how to maintain, build and ensure access to infrastructures across Europe are necessary prerequisites for raising research and innovation excellence in Europe. Frontier research in all scientific fields needs to be further strengthened and at the same time be opened up for collaboration and use. Thus it is of high importance to maintain funding for fundamental bottom-up research as this research will always pour new knowledge into the whole research and innovation system, even in unpredictable ways. On the one hand, frontier research and technology are of critical importance to our long term economic and social welfare. On the other hand, research that pushes and transcends the borders of our understanding is also a risky venture into new and emerging research areas. It is therefore of central importance that investments in frontier research are made in a long term perspective, and that this research funding is not limited to areas of immediate strategic importance. Europe needs to invest more in the young generation. We have to enable students to address societal challenges and accommodate their solutions for the benefit of society. The current generation of students undertaking academic studies is open for collaborations to bridge barriers. This fact has been demonstrated by growing numbers of collaborative educational and doctoral programmes in many universities all over Europe. These efforts need further reinforcement, wider uptake and more funding opportunities to strengthen the links between universities, big companies and SMEs in the coming years. Students in university programmes must to a greater extent have the opportunity to engage in research or design projects in societal challenge areas. Solving societal challenges will require researchers to work in new ways and in new networks in terms of involving different kinds of actors such as end users and in particular to find new ways to interact/cooperate with each other. There is also need for seamless cooperation across disciplines. Multidisciplinary research improves the prospects for finding solutions to global problems and contributes to the strengthening and broadening of individual research areas. Social science and humanities play a central role in developing multidisciplinarity. The perspectives of economists, geographers, sociologists, demographers, political scientists and anthropologists just to mention a few are crucial for the analysis of institutions in society and for how individuals interact with their surroundings. Multidisciplinary research must therefore be given a strong position in the challenge-based approach. At European level, the European Research Council (ERC) has an important role of enhancing excellence in frontier research by supporting highest quality research across all fields through competition. It allows researchers to identify new opportunities and directions. ERC should also take increasing responsibility for building a new generation of top researchers and for their circulation all over Europe. 4

5 global cooperation Societal challenges of today are truly global and cross every border. To address these require global solutions, and consequently, partnership with global partners. Many countries outside Europe are increasingly investing in research and innovation. In terms of investments Europe is lagging behind, for example, North America and rapidly developing Asian and African countries. Today new exciting research and cutting edge innovations have potential to emerge anywhere and everywhere. True global research and innovation that bridges borders of any kind has potential to give new perspectives and approaches and must be taken as an asset. Cooperation with internationally strong research is key to a strong European science base in the future. Cooperation must be used to attract international top talents for a career in Europe, both in academia and in the business sector. An Open European Research Area with national and European research and innovation programmes open to cooperation outside Europe also reflects trends in innovation activities of leading companies, were R&D is performed in many different parts of the world. In this respect the top-priority identified for global cooperation in the ERA-roadmap is essential: Develop and implement appropriate joint strategic approaches and actions for European Science, Technology and Innovation Platform (STI) cooperation on the basis of Member States national priorities. The grand challenges related to health, climate, food, energy, cities, migration and security are truly global. The scale of resources needed to address them requires global partnerships. With Horizon 2020 and the Joint Programming Process, Europe is well positioned for this. The Joint Programming Initiatives in some areas already demonstrate their potential to set a global research and innovation agenda. Furthermore, several joint programmes such as the Art.185 initiatives on clinical trials or metrology are perceived as internationally leading programmes. This show that Europe as a whole can take the lead in global research and innovation initiatives when cooperating effectively. European initiatives to tackle societal challenges have the potential to become internationally recognised as best practices, involving more partners in advanced, emerging and developing countries. impact on global challenges A major task in the coming years is to ensure that investments in knowledge creation benefit our citizens and society at large, result in innovations and contribute to real change in society. Hence, investments in knowledge creation must be better and more rapidly exploited to enable solutions to the societal challenges. The complexity of present societal challenges calls for a wide variety of solutions. Impact must be ensured in a broad societal context such as in the form of a new law, policy or standard, new working methods in the public sector or business, new materials or products, or new behaviours and lifestyles. All types of research are important regardless of discipline and area, whether it is frontier research or challenge-based research and innovation. However evident barriers remain in the European research and innovation system such as structural, organisational and cultural barriers, limiting co-creation between disciplines and sectors and hampering the potential to reach full impact. The Europe 2020 Strategy stipulated concrete actions at EU and national levels: smart growth (fostering knowledge, innovation, education and digital society), sustainable growth (making our production more resource efficient while boosting our competitiveness) and inclusive growth (raising participation in the labor market, the acquisition of skills and the fight against poverty). By applying this strategy in jointly addressing societal challenges, Europe can provide solutions to problems with direct relevance for our citizens. Challenge-based research and innovation must be open to integration and involvement of citizen and end-users in industry. This will increase the quality, relevance, social acceptability and sustainability of challenge-based outcomes, from social innovation to technological solutions. European universities have a significant untapped potential in enabling knowledge to come to use in society and industry. Other parts of the world, for instance the US and Japan are by tradition stronger in this field, and a number of emerging countries are now rapidly developing their capacity. Europe need to broadly modernise the universities to increase their performance in knowledge exchange and open innovation. This could be achieved by putting strong incentives in place for increasing the universities own responsibility in collaboration and engagement in open innovation. Competitive allocation of basic funding, where part of the funding is coupled to the achievements in the collaboration task, could serve as a driving force. 5

6 Open innovation processes must be encouraged and supported by combining skills and experiences and by development of new methods. For bringing forward solutions, innovative industry has an important role to play. Also industrially oriented research institutes have an important role in the challenge-based approach. Their understanding of societal and industrial needs, as well as university activities, and their ability to co-create with different sectors are vital. Further, for bringing forward solutions, demand is of obvious importance. By better coupling supply and demand side actions, in particular by stepping up demand side actions, innovative solutions can be stimulated. This could for instance be prizes, innovation procurement or lead market initiatives. Public authorities must use procurement of innovative solutions to bring forward new solutions to their needs, which then may be applicable also for other actors. Horizon 2020 has introduced valuable novelties for supporting development of pre-commercial procurement and public procurement of innovative solutions. These instruments must be further developed as a way to stimulate innovation in a more strategic way For broad implementation of a challenge-based approach, actions also from policy makers in areas outside of the traditional research and innovation field is of high value. This would require that the current approach in strategic research and innovation should be complemented by an openness to include more actors in developing the solutions, in all stages, from problem formulation to implementation. Monitoring is of importance for long term ability to increase impact and efficiency of bringing forward solutions to grand challenges. There is not yet a commonly agreed set of indicators to measure R&I oriented to societal challenges. Their multidisciplinary nature has been a major handicap to establish this. This concern has been around for several years, but has not yet been translated into real action. This will require a complex process of defining, reviewing, and validating indicators, producing new statistics, etc. It has to be part of a global endeavor, involving all the relevant European and international institutions in the field.

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