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Horizon 2020 and beyond: EUA’s vision for the next Framework Programme

08 December 2016

EUA has developed its initial vision on the design of the Ninth EU Framework Programme (FP9). Adopted by the EUA Council on 28 October 2016, the vision paper provides an early perspective on the main challenges ahead and outlines key areas, from the point of view of Europe’s universities, to be considered by the European Commission when planning the FP9.

The capacity of universities to stimulate and foster a culture of innovation through the creation of new knowledge sustains the entire gamut of innovation and its benefits for society. As demonstrated by the results of the EUA member consultation for the mid-term review of Horizon 2020, the previous and current EU Framework Programmes for Research and Innovation have made a major contribution to building critical mass, addressing discrepancies in Europe, and boosting cutting-edge research and innovation. However, the divide amongst European countries in relation to their R&D-to-GDP targets is widening and thus more concerted efforts and investment at the EU level are needed to increase Europe’s overall competitiveness.

Considering this context, EUA encourages all European institutions and member states to assert a strategic vision for the FP9 as a crucial instrument for building more integrated European Higher Education and Research Areas in the coming decades. 

With this in mind, EUA’s vision highlights three main priorities in designing the FP9:

  • provide long-term policies and funding instruments for research;
  • reinforce research collaboration and minimise investment discrepancies across the EU;
  • seek a stronger alignment of policies for education, research and innovation.
These priorities are important for Europe’s universities in responding to the numerous, complex challenges regarding societal demands, technological developments, greater global competition and demographics. The future success of European universities depends on preserving academic freedom, institutional autonomy and integrity in research and education. It also depends on local, regional and international partnerships, digital advancement, and “open” policies.

To read the “EUA vision for the next EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (FP9)”, please click here.

The statement was developed by EUA’s Research Policy Working Group (RPWG), the EUA Board and Council. It is based on the experience of European universities with FP7 and the current Horizon 2020 framework (FP8), including the EUA report on its member consultation for the Horizon 2020 mid-term review (9 December 2016); the EUA position on the European Innovation Council (29 April 2016); the ex-post evaluation of the FP7 (25 January 2016); and the EU Council Conclusions on “FP7 and the Future Outlook” (27 May 2016).


European University Association (EUA)

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