The European University Association has laid down its demands on the European Commission’s next research funding programme, Framework Programme 9.
It wants Brussels to boost research funding, broaden and clarify the concept of impact, better link its research and education programmes, and stop using loans to fund university-based research.
The next framework programme is due to start in 2021 and will follow on from the €80 billion (£72 billion) Horizon 2020 programme, which ends in 2020, and policymakers at the commission have begun discussing how it will look.
Rolf Tarrach, president of the EUA, said: “Universities are the single largest group of participants in the framework programmes. Therefore, EUA’s recommendations come from a very pertinent source that knows first-hand that research and innovation are at the core of Europe’s future.”
After consulting with its member universities in 47 countries, the EUA published From Vision to Action: What EUA Proposes for the Next Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (FP9), which outlines its recommendations for the programme.
Among them is a call to increase the programme’s budget so that it can fund all the top-rated proposals that it receives, and a call to use grants instead of “financial instruments and loan-based schemes”.
“Allocate more funding for collaborative research projects and frontier research, as this would propel stronger links between innovation, research and education,” says the report.
On impact it adds: “Broaden and clarify the concept of ‘impact’; other ways of capturing impact beyond purely numerical measures must be included in the assessment.”