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Independent experts to advise Commission on impact of EU research funding

Brussels, 22 September 2016

The European Commission will set up a High Level Group of experts who will advise on how to maximise the impact of the EU's investment into research and innovation. The Group will be chaired by Pascal Lamy, President Emeritus of the Jacques Delors Institute, the Commission decided on 21 September 2016.

The Group is being established as part of the interim evaluation of Horizon 2020, the EU's current research and innovation funding scheme (2014-20). The experts will formulate a vision for future EU research and innovation and draw up strategic recommendations on maximising the impact of EU's future investment in this area. They will base their work on the available Horizon 2020 interim evaluation results and other factual evidence such as the results of the related public consultation, which will be launched in October 2016.

Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: "Europe's future depends on a significant and consistent investment in research and innovation. This Group will build upon the formidable experience and expertise of its members and its Chair, Pascal Lamy, in order to help us ensure that each euro that we invest generates maximum impact. It's our duty to our citizens."

Pascal Lamy, former Director-General of the World Trade Organisation and European Commissioner for Trade, said: "The EU's research and innovation funding is already making a big difference, increasing our growth and competitiveness while addressing the main challenges of today. But with limited budgets, we need to make sure we are getting as much impact out of our investment as we can. It will be the task of my group to explore all the paths that lead to this goal."

Background:

The Group will comprise up to twelve highly qualified, independent members appointed in their personal capacity. They are currently being selected from over 350 candidates that responded to an online call for expression of interest. The selection process is expected to be finalised in November 2016.

The High Level Group will then start its work in December 2016. Its final report will be published in June 2017, followed by a stakeholder conference in Brussels. The Group's recommendations will be taken forward by the European Commission for the future development of EU research and innovation funding, in particular the implementation of the remaining years of Horizon 2020.