In a joint declaration issued today (21 February 2018) key European industrial research and innovation stakeholders, including CEFIC, call on the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union to develop the next EU Research & Innovation Framework Programme (FP9) with an appropriate design and budget that meets the ambitions of the Renewed EU Industrial Policy Strategy.
This second joint declaration by the 25 stakeholders highlights the crucial role of Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I) activities to support and boost industrial leadership that is at the heart of the renewed European Industrial Policy Strategy.
Europe’s future competitiveness and the sustainability of the European social model largely depend on RD&I with two-thirds of economic growth in Europe deriving from RD&I activities and RD&I investments are the key drivers of the technological developments that deliver many impactful innovations for society. However, RD&I intensity is much lower in Europe than in other countries like the US, China, Japan or South Korea. Reaching the EU’s objective of 3% GDP expenditure on R&D will require strong additional spending states the declaration.
In a previous joint declaration, the stakeholders had called on FP9 to prioritise support to industrial competitiveness from the start to fulfil European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s wish to “make our industry stronger and more competitive” and “help our industries stay or become the world leader in innovation” as stated in his Annual State of the Union speech in September 2017.
This requires an ambitious strategy, taking full advantage of current research successes, understanding emerging risks and opportunities, considering the wider international industrial landscape, and focusing on European added value.
The stakeholders believe that to boost competitiveness by increasing our productivity, the EU needs to anticipate developments in other global regions in key technology areas that form the basis of our society’s future products and services. Accordingly, FP9 design should reflect such priorities and aim to:
- Maximise the impact of the EU funded RD&I for society, building on Horizon 2020’s efforts.
- Strengthen European Industries’ capacities to further absorb and scale up novel technologies matured into new products and services and apply them in addressing global challenges.
- Strengthen Europe’s capabilities to keep on top of the “innovation race” with third countries to safeguard Europe’s economic growth and employment.
- Support European cross-border industry-driven collaborative RD&I in particular the role of public-private partnerships (cPPPs and JTIs) in leveraging private sector investments.