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Setting priorities – Organising strategic research funding The quality, relevance and timeliness of strategic research are society. All research can potentially be applied to solving societal strongly connected to the organisation making the calls for challenges. To achieve this outcome, a wide range of organisations proposals. The right system has to be in place to make sure that representing universities, research organisations, academies, industry, long-term goals are achieved. Best practices are needed to businesses and funding agencies should be heard and invited to promote relevant, high-priority research topics and to secure play an active role in the development of Horizon 2020 as well as funding for the best researchers and most appropriate partners. in the year-to-year implementation of the programme. A main challenge in this regard is to make sure that there is a The joint research initiatives within the framework of the European close link between policy makers, the research community and Research Area (ERA) should continue to be strengthened and we other stakeholders. If the system behind the funding process is must seek to avoid the duplication and overlap of research and weak and ill-supported by the very research community it is meant innovation activities in Europe. This overriding demand for to fund, then this will undoubtedly reflect poorly on the research. coordination should be supported through formalised frameworks As a result the CRF II panel recommends that researchers play for partnerships. National, sub-national and private research an important role as advisers in committees central to long and agendas will all benefit from continuous coordination and short-term Horizon 2020 planning in relation to research themes, ongoing dialogue facilitated by both public-public and public- areas and subjects as well as to the structure and organisation of private partnerships. The CRF therefore supports the European programmes. The balance between long and short-term research Commission’s efforts and intentions to continue elaborating the visions should be achieved by having flexible roadmaps for each policy framework for partnerships in the European Research Area. societal challenge, thus leading the way for broader topics within However, the panel finds it very important to limit the number of each challenge. partnering initiatives to the minimum required while firm steps are being taken to secure systemic transparency and continuity. Beyond securing continuity, roadmaps should seek to build on Too many initiatives and partnering schemes may have the current knowledge, take into account and address the changing opposite effect than the one intended, creating confusion instead needs of society and, most importantly, accommodate new and of connection. growing research areas of quality and relevance. Each societal challenge holds different research needs. Accordingly, the individual roadmaps should reflect the specific characteristics of the challenge being addressed rather than seeking uniformity. This also means that the calls within the roadmaps must be broad in order to reflect the complexity of the dilemmas to be solved. Horizon 2020 planning and execution should take further step towards output management and have less input control. Horizon 2020 is dependent not only on the quality of the selection process but also on the quality of implementation and on the impact. Sharpening the focus on results will increase the odds for success. The backbone of the new management approach should be bottom-up strategic partnerships with a commitment to the common strategy. Successful applications should be able to use additional funds to cover the strategic management and coordination of such partnerships and the development of new output-oriented management models. This will help making the roadmaps more dynamic as well as foster accountability. The scientific community is ready for a fair monitoring and evaluation system that focuses on outputs to match the new modes of cross-disciplinary collaboration. It is now generally acknowledged that a linear model whereby basic research leads to applied science does not describe the iterative process required at the intersection between research and 6


CRF_rapport_210x297_web_NY
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