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European Structural and Investment Funds support innovation reforms

(16 June 2014)

European Structural and Investment Funds support innovation reforms

The EU budget for 2014-20 marks a decisive shift towards research and innovation (R&I), with a 30 % real terms increase in the budget for Horizon 2020, the new EU programme for research and innovation. A further € 100 billion is expected to be invested in R&I, digital growth, eco-innovation and SMEs, through the European Structural and Investment Funds.

In a Communication published on 10 June, the European Commission highlighted the importance of R&I investments and reforms for economic recovery in the European Union, and made proposals to help EU Member States maximise the impact of their budgets at a time when many countries still face spending constraints. Increasing R&I investment is a proven driver of growth, while improving the efficiency and quality of public R&I spending is also critical if Europe is to maintain or achieve a leading position in many fields of knowledge and key technologies. Innovation can help also lagging regions transform their economies and make them more competitive. The Commission has pledged support to Member States and regions in pursuing R&I reforms best suited to their needs and competitive strengths via smart specialisation, including by providing policy support, world-class data and examples of best practice. It stresses that the benefits derived from the participatory development and roll-out of smart specialisation strategies could be multiplied through better linkages across regions, allowing for the development of complementarities and European value chains.

Press release

MEMO