Report on Application of the Open Method of Coordination in Favour of the Barcelona Research Investment Objective - "the Second Cycle" (extract)

September 7, 2006

Brussels, 06 Sep 2006

Full text of Document 1206/06
Suite of documents 1206/06 Subject: Application of the open method of coordination in favour of the Barcelona research investment objective - "The Second Cycle"

Delegations will find attached the final version of the "Second cycle report on the application of the open method of coordination in favour of the Barcelona research investment objective" ("2nd cycle 3% OMC report") as approved by CREST.

ANNEX
CREST REPORT ON THE APPLICATION OF THE OPEN METHOD OF COORDINATION IN FAVOUR OF THE BARCELONA RESEARCH INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE ­ THE "SECOND CYCLE"

INTRODUCTION

In October 2004, CREST reported on the first application of the open method of coordination in support of the "3%" research investment target set by the Barcelona European Council in 20021 and the associated "3% Action Plan" prepared by the Commission2.

Since 2004, in the context of the re-launched Lisbon strategy and recognising the priority accorded to the knowledge triangle within that strategy, the policies of the Community and of the Member States to increase investment in R&D have assumed even greater importance.

Continuing to fulfil its mandate from the Council, as most recently reaffirmed in 20053, and building on the experience of the first cycle4, CREST initiated a further application of the open method of coordination to this policy sphere in 2005. This "second cycle" comprised a number of work-modules; each conceived and led by a CREST Member State delegation.

The second cycle has been enhanced by high-level meetings of Directors General for research and innovation in 2004 and 2005, convened at the initiative of the Netherlands and United Kingdom Presidencies, and by a wider conference on the benefits of the OMC process to research and innovation policy making in 2006 organised by the Austrian Presidency and the European Commission.

OUTCOME

The second application of the open method of coordination has resulted in new or strengthened networks of national policy makers, synthesis of a detailed evidence base on national policies in selected areas and peer-review/mutual learning around this evidence base. In some instances specific recommendations to either Member States or the Community have been made or concrete deliverables in the form of policy guidelines or handbooks produced.

The detailed reports of each of the five work-modules are available online5. A summary of their work and outcomes is given below.

The "peer review of policy mixes" work-module was co-led by the Netherlands and the United Kingdom and was actively supported by Belgium, Estonia, France, Ireland, Slovak Republic, Norway, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden plus the European Commission and an external consultant. The work-module developed a specific and effective peer review process and successfully completed three peer reviews (of Sweden, Spain and Romania) which were well received by both the countries being reviewed and those acting as reviewer. In addition to the detailed evidence collected and feedback given on each peer review, a number of generic lessons related to the optimal structure and content of national research and innovation policy mixes oriented towards the 3% target, and to their trans-national dimension, have been drawn. The "design and evaluation of fiscal measures to promote business research, development and innovation" work-module was led by Norway, and was actively supported by Belgium, Estonia, France, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and the United Kingdom plus the European Commission and external consultants. The work-module has provided some general orientations that Member States could consider when designing fiscal measures, has looked in detail at evaluation methods for fiscal measures to promote research and development and has produced an

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