International Cooperation

The global research and innovation scene is changing rapidly. Emerging economies, such as China, Brazil, Russia or China, account for an increasing share of expenditure on research and innovation and are therefore gaining influence. Research and innovation in themselves are also increasingly globalised activities. The number of internationally co-authored publications is increasing, as is the international mobility of researchers. Companies are investing beyond their national borders, in particular in the emerging economies. Today's societal challenges, such as combatting climate change, securing a steady supply of energy or feeding a growing world population, can only be dealt with through global action.

The European Union is one of the world's leading regions in research and innovation. With 7% of the world's population, it accounts for 24% of the world expenditure on research, 32% of the high impact publications and 32% of the patent applications. However, as more and more knowledge is created in third countries, the Union must be in a position to access this knowledge, and the people creating it, in order to remain an attractive location for carrying out research and innovation and a partner of choice for engaging in international cooperation.

The importance of the international dimension of research and innovation, as the external dimension of a vibrant European Research Area, was explicitly recognised in the Innovation Union flagship initiative and the proposals for Horizon 2020. This Communication therefore complements the Communication on A Reinforced European Research Area Partnership for Excellence and Growth.

Fact sheet: International Participation in Horizon 2020 and FP7