The independent expert group on the Economic and Societal Impact of Research and Innovation (ESIR) featured prominently across this year’s European Research and Innovation (R&I) Days with an Open and three breakout sessions. The discussions allowed the experts to interact with stakeholders and citizens and reflect on how a transformative research and innovation policy is the key to ensuring a sustainable and resilient future.
Building on their policy brief “Protect, prepare, and transform Europe: Recovery and resilience post COVID-19”, the Open session emphasized the notion of creating greater resilience “by design”, not “by disaster”, at the core of a coordinated EU recovery response to the COVID-19 outbreak. ESIR experts discussed how an integrated “people, planet and prosperity” recovery model and concentrated investment in R&I-led transformation would enable us to emerge from COVID-19 with more resilient economies and societies. The importance of designing and optimising R&I agendas for and by the people in order to ensure that they fit societal goals, the importance of building intergenerational justice into our recovery strategies, and re-globalising our societies and economies in the right ways were central themes of the presentations and debate.
The Open session was complemented by three breakout sessions elaborating challenges and solutions for transforming our economies and societies. They focused on the three ecosystems ‘Universities and research’, ‘Industrial value chains’ and ‘Cities, regions, and nations’. The breakouts brought ESIR experts and representatives from academia, industry and the public sector together to discuss the role of these players in R&I-driven post-COVID-19 adaptation strategies.
ESIR received most valuable feedback and will take up the rich discussions in its upcoming new Policy Brief to be published in December 2020.
The Economic and Societal Impact of Research and Innovation (ESIR) group will help to design a forward-looking agenda that enables research and innovation policy to contribute to delivering on the political guidelines of President von der Leyen, notably the ‘European Green Deal’, ‘An economy that works for people’ and ‘A Europe fit for the digital age’. The group will initially run until 31 December 2021.
5 November 2020