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Completing the European Research Area in the Context of the Innovation Union – Boarding Time

14 November 2012, Nicosia
Number of Participants: 160

Conference objective:

The Conference aspired to be an important milestone in the ongoing policy implementation for the accomplishment of ERA by 2014. The objective of the conference was to offer the opportunity to a wide range of stakeholders, research organizations, universities, private enterprises and public authorities to elaborate on the concept of the European Research Area, and to analyse the factors and preconditions which are required for its realisation. The Commission Communication on “A Reinforced European Research Area Partnership for Excellence and Growth” and the measures contained therein were at the centre of the discussions.

Conference Outcomes and Recommendations:

The Conference acknowledged the need to join forces and work together to achieve the objectives set in the ERA Communication and there was overall support to the process described by the European Commission. It has been accepted by all that the functioning of the ERA will yield multiple benefits to the European research in its totality, and that the reaping of benefits can only start if well orchestrated measures are introduced by EU member states, by the Commission and by the stakeholder organisations. The opening up of national research programmes, cross-border cooperation, the portability of grants, the achievement of homogeneity in researchers careers and the gender issues are elements that need firm commitment and dedicated work. Participants also supported the need of more competition in research, based on international peer reviews. Other important outcomes of the conference are:

  • Cross-border cooperation is indispensable for the achievement of ERA.
  • Member States should open up their national systems to attract best brains from all over the world, and remove barriers to recruitment, retention and career progress of female researchers.
  • Developing synergies between different national and EU funding sources, including by linking national Research Infrastructure roadmaps to ESFRI Roadmap and Structural Funds and prioritization of research infrastructures included in the ESFRI roadmap.
  • Improving knowledge transfer between universities, public research organizations and industry is essential. Public-private mobility is crucial for knowledge transfer and open innovation.
  • Supportive to the principles of open access to publicly funded research, emphasizing that achieving European progress requires collaboration, coordination, follow-up and sharing of experience between government and stakeholder organizations.
  • Europe needs to join forces globally to tackle global challenges efficiently, and make sure to get access to the best research teams.
  • The proposed ERA Monitoring Mechanism will indentify the state of play on the proposed ERA actions needed for policy steering, but also contribute to increased transparency, trust, interaction and mutual learning between research actors and national and regional governments. In this line the Indicators for all MS should be comparable.
  • Experiences with ERAWATCH and by organisations such as the OECD should be taken into account in the designing and developing of a Research and Innovation Observatory.

Video of the Conference

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