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► INTRODUCTION
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Joint Programming: answering Europe’s biggest questions
In this edition of the ERA newsletter, we look at how Member States are pooling resources and aligning research agendas to address the societal challenges facing Europe.

Joint Programming was launched in 2008 and is now at an important moment in its history. Ahead of the publication of an evaluation report on Joint Programming, the special focus article explores the progress made by Joint Programming Initiatives and the work that remains to be done. We present the views of the ERA Stakeholder Organisations on what has been achieved so far in this field, as well as their hopes for the future.

At the same time, policymakers and stakeholders have returned to Lund in Sweden to assess the progress made since the 2009 Lund Declaration. A new declaration – the 2015 Lund Declaration – was presented and discussed. Its main message is that “Europe must speed up solutions to tackle grand challenges through alignment, research, global cooperation and achieving impact.” It identifies four priority areas, each with defined priority actions, and calls on all stakeholders to take these priorities into account in their field of responsibility.

IN THIS ISSUE

 

» Special Focus

 

» Vox Pops

 

» Research collaborations can be a catalyst for ERA

 

» Lund should further support innovation

 

» Universities thrive on taking up Europe’s societal challenges

 

» EU research must take a global view

 

» Joint Programming is helping to address grand challenges

► SPECIAL FOCUS
Special focus icon
Coming together to tackle societal challenges
Coming together to tackle societal challenges
Europe faces a host of societal challenges for which research can be a major part of the solution. Many of these – including food security, an ageing population and environmental sustainability – are too great for any country to handle alone.

Yet there is a mismatch between the need to address common challenges and the disjointed way science is funded: 88 % of European research is planned and funded through national research programmes scattered across Member States.

That is why, in 2008, EU governments decided to pool their efforts in a number of key areas. The result was ‘Joint Programming’, which sees Member States coming together voluntarily to agree on common research strategies in key areas that matter to citizens.

Together, they have created Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs) to implement Strategic Research Agendas. Not only does this have the potential to avoid unnecessary duplication, it also pulls together the research capacity required to tackle major societal challenges.
» Read more
Joint programming icon VOX POPS Views from the field
Research collaborations can be a catalyst for ERA

By the Conference of European Schools for Advanced Engineering Education and Research (CESAER)

Despite a slow start and limited resources, Joint Programming Initiatives can help to deliver on the 2009 Lund Declaration

The Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs) and their Strategic Research and Innovation Agendas (SRIAs) are making substantial contributions to the alignment process between Member States’ policies addressing societal challenges.

Despite the lengthy processes that were necessary for preparing the SRIAs, the results show that Member States and funding agencies are able to agree on common objectives, topical priorities and measures towards the implementation of target issues that are of clear common interest and relevance.
» Read more
Lund should further support innovation

By the European Association of Research and Technology Organisations (EARTO)

The revised Lund Declaration can be a tool for driving growth and jobs through research and innovation

The key message of the Lund Declaration launched in July 2009 was that Europe should focus on the ‘grand challenges of our time’. This recommendation was taken on board by the European Commission in the designing of Horizon 2020 (H2020).

Today, EARTO members – Research and Technology Organisations – are very active in performing research and innovation (R&I) activities that address the societal challenges described in H2020. The revised Lund Declaration should seek to provide recommendations that can shape ‘FP9’– the EU framework programme for research post-2020.
» Read more
Universities thrive on taking up Europe’s societal challenges

By the European University Association (EUA)

A new Lund Declaration can be a catalyst for strengthening Europe’s global position and attracting the brightest minds in the world

European universities have been, and continue to be, institutions constituted by and for society. Addressing societal challenges is clearly one of their key functions. As publicly-funded organisations, universities fulfil two core missions: to grow and educate the experts and leaders of tomorrow; and to advance science and society by producing new knowledge and innovative solutions to complex, interrelated problems.

While the alignment to grand challenges has been boosted at European level by the broad approach to Horizon 2020 taken by the European Commission, further efforts are needed to ensure long-term growth and competitiveness, by closing gaps between research systems in Europe and providing stable funding for universities at national level.
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EU research must take a global view

By the League of European Research Universities (LERU)

To tackle global challenges, European stakeholders must engage with international research institutions

Grand societal challenges are global in nature and must be tackled through research and innovation with a global approach.

The 2009 Lund Declaration provided a clear incentive for institutional, national and regional research and innovation (R&I) to join forces. Six years later, the results of many Joint Programming Initiatives are disappointing. ‘Too little, too late’ was more or less the conclusion of the European Commission Expert Group some years ago.
» Read more
Joint Programming is helping to address grand challenges

By Science Europe

Responding to current and future grand challenges requires both short-term planning and action, and long-term efforts and the research that Science Europe’s members support or perform is an important component of this work

Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs) have proven to play an important role in bringing together the short- and long-term efforts required to address grand challenges. Science Europe has found that the JPIs play seven important roles for both research and innovation. These roles, listed in Science Europe’s recent Position Statement ‘On the Role and Future of Joint Programming’, should be used as the starting point to chart the future of JPIs.

Despite the lengthy processes that were necessary for preparing the SRIAs, the results show that Member States and funding agencies are able to agree on common objectives, topical priorities and measures towards the implementation of target issues that are of clear common interest and relevance.
» Read more
 
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