UNICE response to the questionnaire regarding the review of the Community framework for state aid for research and development

January 20, 2005

Brussels, 19 Jan 2005

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Introduction

At the Barcelona meeting of the European Council in March 2002, Heads of State and Government agreed that research and technological development in the EU should be increased with the aim of approaching 3% of GDP by 2010, with the level of business funding rising to two-thirds of the total investment. The Council also invited the Commission and Member States to become involved in the modernisation of the EU rules on State Aid.

The provision of State Aid for R&D can play a part in the attainment of the 3% objective by leveraging additional private sector investment in R&D. Care has to be taken, however, to ensure that this aid does not distort competition unduly. The current State Aid Framework was designed to avoid such distortion. Since its adoption in 1996, however, there have been many changes in the ways R&D and innovation actors behave and interact. The time is ripe, therefore, for a revision of the State Aid Framework for R&D.

This survey is part of a study aimed at exploring the effect of State Aid on R&D investment levels. It is designed to feed into the forthcoming revision of the R&D State Aid Framework. Recent consultations and reviews in this area have already suggested many potential changes, but they also pinpointed a number of issues that still need to be resolved. One of the aims of this survey, therefore, is to throw more light on particular issues. These include:

  • The leverage effects of existing R&D support schemes
  • The indirect leverage effects of innovation support schemes on R&D investment levels
  • Assessments of the effectiveness of State Aid
  • Appropriate categories and ceilings for R&D State Aid
  • Increased ceilings when there is an overlap with other aid categories
  • The range of eligible costs for R&D State Aid
  • The boundary between R&D and Innovation
  • R&D Support to Public Research Organisations (PROs)
  • The efficiency of R&D State Aid procedures
  • The efficiency of Innovation-related procedures
This questionnaire is being sent to companies/employers' federations and public research organisaitons. A similar questionnaire, appropriately modified, is being sent to policymakers.

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UNICE
Union of Industrial and Employers' Confederations of Europe
Union des Confédérations de l'Industrie et des Employeurs d'Europe

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