Open national-level competition is crucial to deriving maximum value from public money invested in research. Best-practice performance in this respect which all Member States should attain involves:
Allocating funding through open calls for proposals, evaluated by panels of leading independent domestic and non-domestic experts (peer review) - this incites researchers to reach internationally-competitive levels of performance
Assessing the quality of research-performing organisations and teams and their outputs as a basis for institutional funding decisions - peer review can form a part of such assessment and, in the long-term, lead to organisational change.
While the balance between these two approaches may vary, they should be at the core of research funding decisions in all Member States in order to overcome divergences in performance across the EU.
Introduce or enhance competitive funding through calls for proposals and institutional assessments as the main modes of allocating public funds to research and innovation, introducing legislative reforms if necessary
Ensure that all public bodies responsible for allocating research funds apply the core principles of international peer review
Support mutual learning and the exchange of good practice between Member States on the removal of national legal and other barriers to ERA for the priorities set out in this Communication
Support through the Smart Specialisation Platform Member States and regions in using Structural Funds to develop research capacity and smart specialisation strategies, including support to joint research programmes, in line with Cohesion Policy objectives
Support ERA Chairs aimed at fostering structural change in institutions to raise their research quality to international levels of excellence