On 17 July 2012, the European Commission published a Communication on “A Reinforced European Research Area Partnership for Excellence and Growth”. The Commission seeks to reduce the brain drain and the wide regional differences in research and innovation performance, aiming at excellence across the EU through smart specialisation.
ERA priorities are:
To achieve these objectives, the European Commission announces its future next steps and sets a list of recommendations to Member States and stakeholders. In this sense, the Commission considers Member States as the primary actors that will allow the full development of the ERA and, therefore, makes some relevant recommendations to Member States:
Introduce or enhance competitive funding through calls for proposals and institutional assessments as the main modes of allocating public funds to research and innovation, introducing legislative reforms if necessary;
Remove all barriers preventing seamless online access to digital research services for collaboration, computing and accessing scientific information;
Adopt and implement national strategies for electronic identity for researchers giving them transnational access to digital research services;
Harmonise access and usage policies for research and education-related public e-infrastructures and for associated digital research services enabling consortia of different types of public and private partners.
Interestingly, the European Commission considers that research stakeholder organisations should take responsibility for the ERA and announces that relevant research stakeholder organisations will be invited to sign with the Commissioner a Joint Statement of their willingness to work towards the completion of ERA.
VPH should most certainly respond to this when the time comes as it will provide a useful opportunity to raise the profile of VPH amongst Commission officials.
The full Communicationis available here.