Future EU research perspectives
What comes next for European research excellence?
On 16 June 2004, the Commission adopted a Communication, entitled Science and technology: the key to Europe’s future, aimed at securing Europe’s leading role in research and technological development. This Communication, based on a February 2004 EU financial proposal, recommends doubling the budget devoted to European research to around €10 billion a year from 2007-2013, a period that will include the Seventh Framework Programme.
The main reason for this increase is to make it possible to exploit fully the added value of EU-wide action by creating critical masses of material, human and intellectual resources, and by exerting a powerful leverage effect on private investment in research.
The Communication presents six major objectives to stimulate competitive R&D in the Union, including the creation of European centres of excellence, the launching of technology initiatives in growing industrial fields, and the creation of a European Agency to support European basic research teams. It endorses further effort being put into developing R&D infrastructures and boosting the numbers of skilled researchers in key sectors.
It is also intended to focus future European research efforts on key topics. Two new issues – space and security – have already been identified. Lastly, the ‘Science and technology’ Communication recommends supporting these research efforts with more efficient implementation, such as management through public-private partnerships.