Common Strategic Framework – worth waiting for?

Researchers, businesses, public bodies, and various third-sector organisations that have been a part of the EU Framework Programmes in recent years will be learning more and more over the next two years about the new Common Strategic Framework.

The Framework was set up to support the ambitions for Europe 2020 – and we will all be eager to see if it really does meet the demands made by the research community.

Can a single, streamlined framework focused on this key strategy for the next decade lead to the innovative work the Community wants to see taking place in Europe?

The Commission is proposing a smarter way to support researchers and innovators in Europe – so as to further boost excellence and to help ensure that good ideas reach the market and generate sustainable economic growth and new jobs.

Supposedly, needless red tape will be cut out and participation made simpler. The new funding system for research and innovation will build upon the current Framework Programme for Research (FP7), the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).

The ultimate aim is to maximise the contribution of EU-funded research and innovation to sustainable growth and jobs and to tackling the grand challenges facing Europe – for example climate change, energy and food security, health and our ageing population. The belief is that this will be achieved by creating a coherent set of instruments, along the whole “innovation chain” starting from basic research, culminating in bringing innovative products and services to market; and also to support non-technological innovation, for example in design and marketing.

The Commission’s Green Paper also provides the basis for far-reaching simplification of procedures and rules. In fairness, the evidence from the Green Paper is that they have tried to listen to the research community while also pushing their Europe 2020 Strategy to ensure this is a good deal more relevant over this coming decade than Lisbon or Gothenburg Strategies ever were in the last one.

Stakeholders have until 20 May 2011 to respond to the main consultation: there seems to be evidence that they really are listening this time, so it’s probably worth making your voice heard…

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