Biotechnology has a pivotal role to play in achieving the three core goals set out by the EU 2020 Strategy of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The European Commission has recognised the value of biotechnology as a Key Enabling Technology, crucial to ensure the competitiveness of European industries in the knowledge economy. Biotechnology also has a vital role to play in addressing pressing societal challenges, such as Climate Change, Health and Ageing, Resource Efficiency or Food Security.
EuropaBio welcomes the publication of the Green Paper on a Common Strategic Framework for research and innovation funding and the opportunity to provide comments. EuropaBio believes that an integrated CSF for research and innovation has the potential to play an important role in the implementation of the EU 2020 Strategy, by stimulating research and innovation to boost competitiveness and find solutions to the most pressing societal challenges. The CSF will also be a crucial instrument in the building and consolidation of a strong science base, with a strong focus on key enabling technologies, which will provide Europe with the necessary capabilities to meet tomorrow’s challenges. In order to meet these ambitious objectives, sufficient financial resources will need to be allocated to research and innovation policies, at EU, national and regional level.
Whilst enhancing the outcome-oriented integration of different funding instruments, it is important to recognise the value that the current Framework Programme delivers. Despite administrative issues, the Framework Programme is a good way of funding scientific research, especially for projects that go beyond what can be achieved by the funding programmes of individual Member States. This should remain an important part of the CSF, and research activities driven by universities and research organisations should continue to be of central importance in the next generation of programmes. However, the Programme is also intended to be industry relevant and generate positive social outcomes. As such, the proposed CSF does give an opportunity to consider what more can be done to help achieve the desired objectives. This is the context in which EuropaBio approaches the consultation questions.
Our paper contains a list of key points for EuropaBio members, as well as more detailed answers to most of the questions.