Brussels, 14 Jan 2004
Eureka, the European network for market oriented research and development (R&D), has published a report on the impact of its research projects, highlighting the work that the organisation is doing in the context of the European Research Area (ERA).
The report also gives details of Eureka's new 'whole life' approach to project evaluation and summarises the socio-economic impact of research funded by the network.
Highlighting elements such as the longevity of the Eureka initiative and its strong brand recognition, the report states that the network's 'flexible' approach to technological innovation and competitiveness 'provides a key element [in] the realisation of the European Research Area.' Indeed, discussions are currently taking place between Eureka and the European Commission on the setting up of 'joint Eureka-FP [Framework Programme] technical groups to facilitate research coordination in key thematic areas.'
Previous assessments have focused on the impact of finished EUREKA projects. During the Danish chairmanship of Eureka, however, significant steps were taken towards the implementation of a 'whole-life' approach to project quality assessment, according to the report. This method involves an 'early progress check' on new projects, ongoing monitoring by national offices, and greater attention to the exploitation of results in the years after project completion.
In addition to these assessments, over 400 market impact reports have been forwarded to Eureka on a voluntary basis. The report states: '[this] speaks loudly for the high satisfaction and motivation of hundreds of Eureka participants who have seen their businesses grow as a direct result of carrying out market-oriented R&D in this flexible and non-bureaucratic initiative.'
According to data provided by these reports, Eureka projects provide an average increase in annual turnover of around one million euro per responding participant, with a further three million euro expected within three years of project completion. This increase often far outweighs the public funding which participants received for their projects.
Eureka has also identified some 11,000 jobs, created as a result of its projects, and an expectation of a further 15,000 within the space of three years.
Finally, the report reaffirms that the industry-driven nature of EUREKA projects and the requirement for financial commitment from participants puts it in a unique position to contribute effectively to the EU's three per cent objective - the goal of increasing European research investment to three per cent of GDP by 2010.
To read the report in full, please consult the following web address: