Since 2015, the Horizon Policy Support Facility gives Member States and countries associated to Horizon Europe practical support to design, implement and evaluate reforms that enhance the quality of their research and innovation investments, policies and systems.
The Horizon Europe Policy Support Facility, launched in February 2021, provides good practice, independent high-level expertise and guidance at the request of Member States and Associated Countries through a number of services:
PSF Country (formerly PSF Peer Reviews & Specific support to countries) is an in-depth assessments of a country's R&I system (or of parts of it) carried out by a panel of experts and peers and leading to actionable policy recommendations to the national authorities on reforms necessary to strengthen their R&I system.
PSF Challenge includes the PSF Mutual Learning Exercises and is focused on specific and operational R&I challenges of interest to several volunteering countries. It aims to identify good practice, lessons learned and success factors.
PSF Open allows countries having already benefitted from a PSF exercise to receive support to follow-up on the PSF recommendations.
"The PSF review served as a key inspiration in the drafting of our National R&I Strategic Plan 2023 – 2027, and we are particularly grateful to the professional support that DG R&I’s PSF mechanism has leveraged for the benefit of our R&I policy and monitoring work, benchmarking, and general expertise."
Omar Cutajar, Director for Policy, Strategy and Internationalisation - Malta Council for Science and Technology
At the request of national administrations with R&I competences, the Policy Support Facility provides customer-oriented services to support evidence-based policy making. PSF activities are regularly presented and discussed in the European Research Area and Innovation Committee (ERAC).
To request a PSF exercise, national ministries can contact the PSF Team at RTD-PSF@ec.europa.eu for preliminary discussions before submitting an official request.
For more information on the Horizon Europe Policy Support Facility 2021-2027, this presentation provides a useful summary.
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- 20th February: PSF Croatia dissemination event in Zagreb
- 28th-30th March: PSF Open Romania second country visit in Bucharest
- 25th-26th April: PSF MLE Whole-of-Government Approach first country mission in Bulgaria on ‘New policy designs and instruments for a whole-of-government approach’
- 26th-27th April: PSF MLE Foresight fourth meeting in Bucharest on ‘The twin transition and potential disruptions’
Peer Review Denmark: How can an innovation leader up its game?
Equipping Moldova’s research and innovation system with ambition for transformation
Experts have concluded the PSF Country support to Moldova after extensive research and consultations with national stakeholders. As a result, the panel created concrete policy messages and 14 recommendations to reform the R&I system.
PSF Mutual Learning Exercise on the Whole of Government Approach in Research and Innovation
PSF Mutual Learning Exercise (MLE) on the Whole of Government Approach in Research and Innovation (R&I) will deliver policy recommendations for its deployment in the design and implementation of national R&I strategies and plans that foster the transformations of our key socio-economic systems towards sustainability.
PSF Open to support Romania with the implementation of PSF Country Review recommendations
PSF Open aims to create a common vision of the Romanian R&I governance as a follow up of the PSF Country report. The expert panel will also propose a plan for setting up a coordination structure for R&I activities in the country and to develop 6 implementations plans defining concrete sets of actions, activities, and information with a timeline for their implementation and monitoring of progress under human capital and internationalisation.
PSF exercises help boost Malta’s research and innovation strategy
The Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST) creates a new Research Excellence Programme and tracks pathways for research graduates following recommendations from PSF exercises. The measures, in combination with other actions, provide research support and policy intelligence, ensuring that the Maltese R&I ecosystem flourishes despite its small size.
Romania on an ambitious path to reform its research and innovation system
During the PSF Country review of Romania, expert panel provided policy recommendations for the implementation of R&I policies that aim at fostering the development of the R&I ecosystem. This article offers an overview of the exercise and showcases the main outputs.
Aware of the challenges facing its R&I system, the Romanian Government turned to the Horizon Policy Support Facility (PSF) for an independent review of the country’s R&I system. The expert panel prepared a set of 10 key policy messages, each of them supported by detailed recommendations. Among them:
PSF Country Review of Moldova: Background Report – Support to Moldova on reforms in the public R&D sector
The PSF Country support to Moldova aims to help public authorities implementing reforms in the R&D sector, in particular research infrastructure, funding system and research and business linkages.
This background report outlines a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the Moldovan R&I system, the current functioning of the funding system, the research infrastructures and the existing collaboration between business and academia. It lays the basis for analysing the challenges the Moldovan system is facing and identifying the needed reforms.
PSF Country Review of Romania: Background Report – PSF review of the Romanian R&I System
The PSF Country review of the Romanian R&I system will help the efforts committed by the Romanian Government to design and implement structural reforms, which are necessary to improve and strengthen the quality of the national research, development and innovation system and unleash the potential of Romanian scientists in ERA.
This background report is mainly targeted at the external experts involved in the Horizon Europe PSF, and aims to provide them with a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the Romanian R&I system, its needs and challenges, and recent developments.
Cyprus: boosting engagement between universities and research institutes with businesses
A PSF expert panel has made recommendations on how Cyprus’s publicly funded universities and research institutes can increase their engagement with the business community. The main reason for the current low level of engagement is a shortage of firms with sufficient “absorptive capacity” to benefit from the research, laboratory and consulting services that universities and research institutes offer. Measures to boost engagement with the enterprise sector need to go hand-in-hand with policy action to raise business demand for knowledge-based services.
PSF action plan to help boost Latvia’s S&T ‘human capital’
Despite evidence of progress and strong political will, Latvia’s research, innovation and higher education system remains wedded to EU funding cycles, making longer-term planning difficult, according to the Horizon 2020 Policy Support Facility (PSF). To boost overall investment and career prospects, as well as innovation capacity in the private sector, PSF experts recommended strategic yet practical courses of action.
International R&I cooperation to keep up with new challenges
Global exchange in research and innovation (R&I) is becoming increasingly important, affecting multinational companies, academia and politics. But policies to support R&I internationalisation sometimes lag behind global dynamics, seen only as an appendix to national R&I policies and programmes. At the same time, global challenges – such as climate change, reduction in biodiversity and the overuse of our planet’s resources – do not stop at the EU border. International R&I policy will be measured in terms of its contribution to solving these global challenges.
Open Access: an opportunity for Malta
In this PSF report, commissioned by the Maltese government, a group of independent experts provide recommendations on transitioning the science system in Malta to an “open by default” setting. The experts recommend a “phase-in” approach, with a timeline to 2025, to arrive at: providing open access to scientific publications, making open and FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable and re-usable) data “as open as possible, as closed as necessary” and implementing related actions on awareness raising, skills, training and support, and career assessment.