Since November 2009, the Research Policy Working Group (RPWG) has been chaired by Professor David Drewry, EUA Vice-President. The RPWG currently comprises twenty members who hold leadership responsibilities for research and innovation activities in their respective universities combined with substantial knowledge and experience of European research funding instruments and policy developments.
The Research Policy Working Group has the following terms of reference:
1. Its status is that of an Advisory body appointed by and reporting to the EUA Council.
2. Membership is comprised of members drawn from the EUA Board and nominations received from National Rectors’ Conferences.
3. Membership should be normally for three years, with possibility of one three-year extension to ensure a degree of continuity.
4. Its main terms of reference are (i) to review European research and innovation policy development of importance to Europe’s universities; (ii) to advise on the preparation of EUA positions and statements on European research policy initiatives; and (iii) to propose and promote new policy instruments to strengthen the position of Europe’s Universities as main stakeholders in the European Research Area.
5. In addition, it establishes and maintains a working dialogue with the European Commission and with other major stakeholders in research and innovation policy, business, non-university research institutions, national funding agencies, etc. through their respective European associations.
The RPWG agenda covers key areas of importance for Europe’s universities in European research and innovation policy including:
In 2010 RWPG meetings included working dialogues with leaders of other major EC initiatives specifically with Professor John Wood, Chairman of the European Research Area Board (ERAB), on the recommendations of the ERAB report “Preparing Europe for a New Renaissance: A Strategic View of the European Research Area” and the first steps to their implementation; and with Professor Anders Flodstrom Governing Board member of the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT) on the experiences of the first call for EIT-KICs and EIT’s future development and the contribution of Europe’s Universities. Also, opening consultations have begun with the CREST (now ERAC, European Research Area Committee) High Level Group on establishing the “framework conditions” for the Joint Programming Initiative.
Following from the Spring 2010 meeting held between EUA President, Professor Jean-Marc Rapp and the EU Commissioner for Research and Innovation, Maire Geoghegan-Quinn, RPWG will be formulating advice to the EUA Council on EUA’s response to the forthcoming “European Plan for Research and Innovation” to be published in autumn 2010, and engage as a major European stakeholder for Europe’s universities in the consultation leading to the European Commission’s initial proposals for FP8 contents and instruments in early 2011.