Commission helps EU Member States reform their research and innovation systems
The European Commission has today launched a new Policy Support Facility (PSF) to help EU Member States reform their research and innovation policies. Such reforms are a priority for EU economic policy as highly performing research and innovation systems can kick-start renewed growth and job creation. The first countries to make use of the Facility are Bulgaria and Hungary.
European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas said: "To exit the crisis and build solid foundations for growth and jobs, all EU Member States face the task of reforming their research and innovation systems. We need to work together to best tackle the challenge of how to identify and implement those reforms that are key to achieving sustainable growth."
Bulgaria is the first Member State which decided to use the PSF. With the support of the Commission, a panel of senior experts and officials from other governments will conduct a Peer Review of Bulgaria and make recommendations for improvements to public funding of research, to research careers, and to knowledge transfer between academia and business.
Todor Tanev, Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Bulgaria, said: "I appreciate that Bulgaria can be the first official client of the new Policy Support Facility. This instrument will help us with the launch of the reforms necessary to make our research and innovation system more effective, notably as regards its governance. The results of the peer review will feed into the crucial efforts of the Ministry of Education and Science and the government to raise Bulgaria's science and innovation profile and to make it more result-oriented and beneficial to the society."
The Commission has also already agreed to support Hungary to prepare for a possible Peer Review later in the year. The President of the National Research, Development and Innovation Office József Pálinkás expressed his commitment to the new initiative: "We consider Policy Support Facility a new effective tool under Horizon 2020 which supports us, policy-makers in further improving the existing Hungarian research and innovation policies. By working together with a group of excellent international experts, the pre-peer review and the subsequent peer review will help us in the finalisation of the on-going restructuring of the Hungarian national R&I governance system."
The Policy Support Facility is a new instrument to give EU Member State governments practical support to identify, implement and evaluate those reforms needed to enhance the quality of their public funding, such as opening up public funding to competition and introducing performance assessments of universities, or stimulating cooperation between academia and business. It supports government officials from other countries to peer review the effectiveness of research and innovation policies and provides access to independent high level expertise and analysis. It is funded under Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme,with up to 20 million euro.
The 2015 Annual Growth Survey identifies research and innovation (R&I) as one of the seven priorities for Member State structural reforms to boost investment and growth. It highlights reforms to increase the impact of public funding through improved R&I strategies, programmes and institutions, as well as reforms to ensure an investment-friendly environment to stimulate business innovation.
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