It calls for an agreement on “a small number of well-defined challenges” for European research to focus upon, including green developments.
“The twin objective of delivering sustainable growth and addressing global challenges could benefit from funding projects that address either a challenge ‘pull’ or a technology/knowledge ‘push’,” the report advocates.
It also recommends a greater focus on impact and asserts that the research profile of the social sciences, arts and humanities should be raised, with the disciplines receiving more funding.
The BIS report was published in response to the European Commission’s green paper From Challenges to Opportunities: Towards a Common Strategic Framework for EU Research and Innovation Funding, published in February. It suggested that research councils across Europe should work together to improve the efficiency of funding at the national as well as the EU level.
The Commission currently accounts for about 5 per cent of research and innovation funding across the EU.
Commenting on the publication, David Willetts, the universities and science minister, said: “The UK has one of the most productive research bases in the world and with changes to EU funding in sight, it’s important that we play our full part in influencing the debate.”