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The next Horizon: Strategies to promote European competitiveness in innovation

January 16, 2017

EU-LIFE, the alliance of research centres in life sciences to support and strengthen European research excellence released today a statement with its recommendations for next framework Programme for Research & Innovation, FP9. Strong key message is: to drive European leadership in innovation, boost excellent ground breaking research in combination with professional technology transfer.

Excellent scientific research should be prioritised as the major booster of innovation by significantly increasing the funding of the highly successful European Research Council. To raise the potential for disruptive innovation, collaborative, open-ended research across Europe should again be a focus of the next framework programme. It will be crucial to initiate a clear deviation from current push for short-term impact of research by clearly supporting all technology readiness levels (TRLs) in the innovation cycle and building a strong, silo-breaking approach of knowledge and technology transfer. FP9 should also support and strengthen the pool of talent and infrastructure that is at the heart of ground-breaking research & innovation.

In particular, EU-LIFE members highlight the need to refocus on strong support to excellent research irrespective of its technology readiness level. "We, the Directors of 13 leading research institutes that are members of the EU-LIFE alliance, call the European Commission to recognize that for research & Innovation to be impactful beyond 2020, excellent science must be prioritised at all levels of the innovation cycle.", says Jo Bury, current Chair of EU-LIFE and Managing Director of VIB, the Flemish Centre of life sciences in Belgium.

"H2020 has created a new paradigm in research and innovation. We are happy to support the drive for more and better impact of R&I in Europe, but there still are key aspects to be improved if we want excellent research to address crucial societal challenges in fields such as health, environment or social equality," states Marta Agostinho, EU-LIFE coordinator.
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