Interaction between EU research policies at all levels focuses attention, and investment, on the central economic and social issues.
EU funding in 2008
"Activities supporting evidence-based policy-making provide qualitative and quantitative information to steer Member States towards the synergies of coordinated research."
To derive maximum benefit from investment in research, the European Research Area must be founded on coherently developed regional, national and European policies. By forging strong links between the Commission and Member States, Community intervention aligns public and private expenditure behind a mix of mutually reinforcing actions likely to achieve the greatest impact on the European economy.
The Seventh Framework Programme contributes to this process by funding activities to support Europe-wide coordination and policy-making based on reliable evidence. In addition, the Open Method of Coordination (OMC), a form of governance relying upon voluntary cooperation, provides Member States with an opportunity to learn from each other, exchange experiences and identify good practices.
In 2008, the fourth of an annual series of OMC cycles identified good practices for the harmonisation of activities and the use of industry-led competence centres – as well as for the promotion of research and development (R&D) in services, notably by showing the importance of linking service industries’ R&D with that in sciences and engineering.