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European Commission > Investing in European Research > 2005 – Communication ‘More Research and Innovation – A Common Approach’

2005 – Communication ‘More Research and Innovation – A Common Approach’

Communication in all available languages : ceština dansk DeutschEnglishespañoleesti keelsuomifrançaismagyarItalianolietuviu kalbalatviešu valodaMaltiNederlands

Communication in brochure format English [ - 396 Kb]

See also the Commission Press Release, Press Memo and Annex English [ – 313 Kb] to the Communication.

Recent figures on research and innovation in Europe can be found in the Key Figures 2005 and the corresponding Commission Press Release.

Research and innovation have been confirmed as key challenges in the new Lisbon Partnership for Growth and Jobs. The 2002 Barcelona European Council set the goal of raising overall research investment in the EU from1.9% of GDP to around 3% by 2010. Nearly all Member States have set targets, which – if met – would bring research investment in the EU to 2.6% by 2010. But instead of rising, the overall level of EU research is currently more or less stagnant.

World-wide competition to attract research and innovation investment is growing. The EU invests about a third less in research than the US, and the EU/US innovation gap has not narrowed in recent years. Meanwhile, emerging countries like China and India are fast becoming world-class centres of research and innovation. Research investment in China is growing by 20% a year.

The scale of competition is such that no Member State can succeed in isolation.

To address this challenge, the Commission has tabled an integrated innovation/research action plan, which calls for a major upgrade of the conditions for research and innovation in Europe.

The action plan updates the actions that have been launched in the past few years with the 3% Action Plan for research and the innovation policy. It goes also further than these actions, in order to give substance to the high priority which has been given to research and innovation in the Lisbon Partnership for Growth and Jobs.

The action plan aims to achieve four objectives, for which 19 actions are proposed:

  1. Upgrade research and innovation in policy agendas
    1. Better regulation in support of new technologies
    2. Redeployment of state aid towards research and innovation
    3. Improved efficiency and use of intellectual property protection
    4. An attractive single market for researchers
    5. The use of public procurement to foster research and innovation
    6. Better and wider use of tax incentives

  2. Mobilise EU funds and instruments to support research and innovation
    1. Mobilisation of public and private resources for key technologies
    2. European Structural Funds to drive research and innovation
    3. Improved access of SMEs to finance
    4. Mobilisation of national programmes to fund EU research and innovation

  3. Improve the environment for business to do research and innovate
    1. Intensified university–industry partnerships
    2. Innovation poles and research-driven and industrial clusters
    3. Proactive business support services to stimulate research and innovation
    4. Innovation management and social change
    5. The potential of innovative services
    6. European industrial research and innovation monitoring system

  4. Enhance national policies through trans-national cooperation
    1. Research and innovation as a priority of the National Reform Programmes for growth and jobs
    2. Improved policy analysis instruments
    3. Support to policy learning and co-operation

The Council welcomed the action plan and adopted conclusions supporting its proposals on 29 November 2005 English [Pdf file - 287 Kb]

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