NETH-ER AND THE EU KNOWLEDGE AND INNOVATION AGENDA TO 2020

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1 POSITION PAPER NETH-ER AND THE EU KNOWLEDGE AND INNOVATION AGENDA TO 2020 CONTINUE TO INVEST IN KNOWLEDGE AND SCIENCE

2 KNOWLEDGE AND INNOVATION ESSENTIAL FOR RENEWED GROWTH IN EUROPE Through constant innovation, the European Union is a competitive economic force at global level. Innovation through research, education and industry creates growth, jobs and solutions to societal challenges like sustainable health care for an increasingly ageing population and optimising mobility and transport. With strong and rapidly increasing global competition, it is essential that Europe remains one of the world s leading knowledge economies. Europe has, for example, the ability to break down barriers which currently limit the mobility of researchers and businesses. Removing these barriers will enhance economic prosperity. The vision of the Dutch knowledge field is that enhancing investments in knowledge and innovation by funding education and research at both national and European level is essential. These investments should be made throughout the entire knowledge chain of education, skills, and fundamental and applied research. The messages of the European Commission presented in the Agenda for Jobs, Growth, Fairness and Democratic Change Juncker s political guidelines have been well received in the Netherlands. The emphasis of investments in these areas should be on their public good nature; the use of loans in this respect is questionable and by nature limited. The effectiveness of knowledge and innovation lies in its impact. This impact should be visible at global and European scale, but it is even more important that it should be tangible in the regions and by citizens, in the form of new products or services. Only in this way can we underline the legitimacy of funded activities and European cooperation in the knowledge field and prove its added value to (European) society. And exactly for this reason, the members of Neth-ER put several aspects of societal impact at the centre of their joint multiannual priorities. These aspects are Digital Access to Knowledge, Smart Impact and Innovative Skills. These aspects of societal impact also address the European agenda of Team Juncker, outlined in his political guidelines: A connected digital single market, A deeper and fairer internal market with a strengthened industrial base, Towards a new policy on migration, A stronger global actor and A union of democratic change. EUROPE S ROLE IN RELATION TO THE KNOWLEDGE AGENDA All residents of the European Union are entitled to an education which allows them to develop their talents to the best of their ability and which contributes to creativity and entrepreneurship. Investing in education and modernisation pays off when it leads to a highly skilled, resilient and future-proof labour force, competitive innovation, and inclusiveness of challenged groups. The quality of vocational and higher education and research in EU member states can be further improved by smart investments at European level. In the coming period, the European Union should focus on increasing mobility in education, aligning education and jobs, teacher quality, digitisation and Open Courseware, removing barriers and in large international research infrastructures. 1

3 It is essential that the European Union continues to invest in knowledge as a sector that promotes economic growth. With the emergence and consolidation of new countries in the international scientific arena, Europe will have to take resolute action to maintain its global economic position. Although Europe is still a leading performer at international level, emerging economies are threatening to outperform us economically. It is therefore of great importance that the European Union commits itself to research, innovation, knowledge valorisation and removing barriers. DUTCH CONTRIBUTIONS TO EDUCATION IN EUROPE An international dimension is essential for the quality of Dutch education. Europe plays an important role as a catalyst for new developments and as an organiser of international cooperation (e.g. the Lisbon, Bologna and Copenhagen processes, Europe 2020). Both the education sector and the labour market are becoming more international. European programmes are encouraging multicultural elements in curricula and internships, while managers and staff are raising the quality of their institutes through international peer learning and collaboration. An effective European policy requires a number of framework conditions: strategic choices, removing barriers and cross-sectoral cooperation. Europe must choose strategically and invest in areas and sectors that also contribute to economic growth and innovation in the long term. Many benefits can also be achieved by removing barriers that hinder promising initiatives, for example, by making grants more accessible and promoting labour mobility. Finally, the obstacles must be removed between policy areas that share common goals, like improving the alignment between education, research and the labour market. Europe can achieve more in the field of education if it takes these framework conditions as a starting point for concentrating its efforts on the focal points described below. However education is primarily a member states competence, experience shows that institutions and students can benefit significantly from European opportunities. The education sector in the Netherlands considers European cooperation as mutually beneficial for the improvement of national and European objectives. Europe and the Netherlands can achieve more if they take framework conditions as a starting point for concentrating their efforts on the above-mentioned aspects of societal impact. A few examples of how the Netherlands is contributing, are given below. DIGITAL ACCESS TO KNOWLEDGE Through the development of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and Small Private Online Courses (SPOCs), institutions like Leiden University, Delft University of Technology, Wageningen University and the University of Amsterdam are contributing to the European objective of increasing digital access to knowledge. In addition, experiences in online learning will also benefit the innovation of teaching and learning in on-campus education. PPagiagina 2

4 The Netherlands is elevating aims to increase knowledge and understanding of health sciences among professionals. In doing so, we hope to improve overall wellbeing and reduce the differences in standards of medical care between countries. Elevate Health is a spinoff of UMC Utrecht and Utrecht University. SMART IMPACT Centres of Expertise: In these unique public private partnerships, industry and universities of applied sciences form alliances to carry out applied research, develop education tracks and attract the professionals of the future. These twenty centres are all linked to the major Dutch economic sectors and are contributing to the added value and resilience of the Dutch knowledge economy. This leads to collaboration between business and multiple education sectors through active participation in knowledge alliances, such as the Chemelot Learning and Innovation Labs. Innovation is not only about research and development, but also about implementation of new technologies by skilled professionals. Involvement of these professionals in the development process also leads to more effective production, as their knowledge and experience enhances the translation of innovative ideas to practical instruments and methodologies. Partnerships like centres of vocational innovation, where businesses, research and vocational education institutions work together to raise the quality of future and existing staff for example in the agriculture and food sector show that smart cooperation is key to promoting innovation in a sector and region. INNOVATIVE SKILLS An example of how Europe contributes to tackling unemployment by investing in new skills is the sector skills alliance on E-commerce, in which Dutch web shops and VET schools participate. This partnership has defined new professions such as the E-commerce entrepreneur, who links physical and digital shops. Industry and schools are jointly developing new education programmes that will become part of the official national qualification frameworks (NQF). Tackling (youth) unemployment means providing each and every person with appropriate skills to acquire a stable position on the labour market. For many Europeans it is a challenge to stay in school and finish their education at all. Without a qualification, they run a high risk of becoming part of persistent and unhappy health, income and social statistics. In the Netherlands, secondary and vocational schools have made prevention of early school leaving a number one priority, with successful results. In Groningen, an integral and multidisciplinary approach by secondary and vocational schools, local authorities, youth and health care organisations identifies risk groups at an early stage and provides tailor-made support, leading to a regional early school leaving rate of only 4.9% 3

5 Excellence and talent promotion have been back on the map of Dutch education for some years now. One typical feature of the Dutch education system is the degree of autonomy that schools have, for instance to shape their own curriculum. Many schools opt to concentrate on the specific talents of pupils by adopting a particular focus profile. Examples include bilingual education, science orientation, highly gifted pupils, culture, technology and science subjects. These schools unite in different profile associations, each of which may have dozens or even hundreds of members. Some schools decide on a single focus profile, while many others adopt multiple profiles. By choosing a particular focus profile, pupils at all levels can discover and develop their various talents and are challenged to excel. DUTCH CONTRIBUTIONS TO RESEARCH AND INNOVATION IN EUROPE Research and innovation are of crucial importance if Europe is to remain competitive in the global arena. This justifies the place of research as one of the pillars of the Europe 2020 strategy. The most concrete expressions of this in practice are the new European research and innovation programme Horizon 2020 and the major societal challenges formulated within the programme. Dutch researchers have traditionally been very successful in these programmes and will continue to use their creativity to work together with businesses on the major questions of the future. It is also important that efforts are maintained to further develop the European Research Area (ERA). This means optimising the European research landscape by increasing the mobility of European researchers, making national research systems more effective and embedding them more solidly in the ERA. Europe is increasingly facing a number of major societal challenges, including an ageing population, climate change, energy issues, etc. We cannot tackle these challenges on our own. They need to be addressed jointly, with research institutions, businesses and government working closely together. It is important that we invest in the entire research chain, as fundamental research and the applied research that is so important for innovation complement each other. Applied and practical research can convert scientific knowledge into new products, technologies and services, as well as strengthen the innovative power of SMEs. A few examples of how the Netherlands is contributing are given below: DIGITAL ACCESS TO KNOWLEDGE The Netherlands was closely involved in realising and hosting the first European Research Infrastructure Consortia (ERICs) on health, ageing, and retirement (SHARE), bio banking (BBMRI) and translational research (EATRIS). SHARE-ERIC aims to help researchers understand the impact of population ageing on European societies and thus to help policy-makers make decisions on health, social and economic policy. BBMRI-ERIC primarily aims at establishing, operating and developing a pan-european research infrastructure of biobanks and biomolecular resources. This will facilitate access to biological resources and biomedical facilities, and support high-quality biomolecular and medical research. EATRIS provides a new development pathway, open to researchers and companies in need of support in advancing biomedical innovations. The headquarters are located in Amsterdam. Digitisation radically changes opportunities for disseminating scientific knowledge. Dutch research universities and universities of applied sciences are strongly committed to playing their part in making academic literature freely available in other words, promoting open access. This calls for a shift to new business models with publishers. Countries cannot bring about this change alone, however. Close cooperation with and between national governments and the support of European authorities is essential to encourage publishers to come up with new business models. PPagiagina 4

6 Quantum Computing will enable a paradigm-shifting wave of innovation in the ICT sector by exponentially increasing computing power and enabling secure communication. Europe has built substantial expertise in several countries. Quantum engineering research performed in Delft at the renowned quantum computing and quantum internet research centre QTech, together with TNO. Within the Netherlands, research links exist to multiple universities and research institutes in Europe. SMART IMPACT The economic priorities of the Netherlands are strongly connected to EU initiatives. The knowledge institutions are participating strongly in EU programmes, such as Horizon The participation of the Netherlands in all Knowledge and Innovation Communities (EIT-KIC) is a good example of the interaction between the Topsectoren (leading sectors) and the EU programmes. Excellence and expertise in science and innovation is not limited to any geographical area. For the future of Europe as a socially and economically vital global region, we need to build upon research and innovation. We cannot afford to lose out on building and connecting excellence in all parts of Europe. For this, Dutch knowledge institutions are committed to sharing expertise and engaging in strong networks and projects with the WIDESPREAD countries. Dutch knowledge institutions support and stimulate regional cooperation and the formation of strategic alliances to achieve excellence in the innovation chain. Examples of regional focus areas are Brainport Eindhoven, Medical Delta, Food Valley and The Hague Security Delta. Specific industrial sectors are also stimulated; for example, Smart Industry focuses on the introduction of new technologies (3D printing, ICT, etc.) in the manufacturing industry. 5

7 Why do some people stay healthy on a fat diet, while others become obese and develop diabetes and heart failure? Pioneering research from the AMC supported by the European Research Council aims to elucidate genetic factors, particularly in relation to nutrition, with the ultimate aim to develop personalized intervention strategies that can promote healthy ageing. This would lead towards a European future in which personalized nutrition leads to a long and healthy life. Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) is a partnership between 24 Humanities Research Councils across Europe and the European Science Foundation (ESF), with the objective of firmly establishing the humanities in the European Research Area and in the European Commission Framework Programmes. The origins of HERA can be traced back to 2002 when the Danish, Dutch and Irish Research Councils initiated the establishment of the European Network of Research Councils in the Humanities (ERCH), later renamed HERA. INNOVATIVE SKILLS Games are becoming increasingly important in (arts) education, health care, safety, creative industries, and other economic, cultural and societal sectors. Serious games allow users to practice, experiment and learn in a safe and motivating environment. Knowledge institutions in the Utrecht region together form the Center for Advanced Gaming and Simulation. At European level they participate with 30 partners in the Network of Excellence Games and Learning Alliance (GaLA). The EpiPredict Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network focuses on the role of epigenetics in resistance to endocrine therapy in breast cancer. To solve the urgent medical problem of therapy resistance a systems medicine approach is used that combines interdisciplinary innovative experimental and computational technologies, setting the scene for breast cancer personalized medicine. EpiPredict marks an important step towards the development of epigeneticbased diagnostic markers and tools to predict treatment outcome, monitor treatment response and develop supplementary treatment plans. Nowadays innovating organisations performing economic activities are confronted with a complex environment that is changing rapidly. The Managing Innovating Organisations Exchange programme of Saxion University of Applied Sciences offers an opportunity to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes to be able to cope better with this complex and dynamic innovation environment. The programme focuses on product and process technology development, management of innovation, value creation, value chain and value chain management. The programme is taught in an international classroom. PPagiagina 6

8 Aarlenstraat Brussel België

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