The European Commission,through Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for research, science and innovation, invited us to draw up a vision and strategic recommendations to maximise the impact of future European Union (EU) research and innovation (R&I) programmes (Annex 1 contains the Group’s mandate). This report is the result of the Group’s deliberations. The twelve of us brought different but complementary perspectives to research, innovation and education. These perspectives were grounded in personal experience with the policy, the practice or in many cases both.
The Group has built on the results of the interim evaluation of Horizon 2020, on a collection of documents (referred to in the report) and on issue papers prepared by the Commission services at our request. We took into account the stakeholder input received as part of the Horizon 2020 interim evaluation, consulted with a range of predominantly European-level stakeholder organisations and received feedback from others (see Annexes 2 and 3 for further details). We agreed without difficulty on a number of core messages. Our main message, and vision, is that investing in research and innovation is increasingly crucial for shaping a better European future in a rapidly globalising world, where success depends ever more on the production and conversion of knowledge into innovation.
Our report focuses on proposing guiding principles for designing a post-2020 EU programme for research and innovation. It does not propose priority themes or subjects such as health, energy, security, space or oceans. We believe, nevertheless, that our recommendations, together with other inputs such as the ongoing foresight study (see Annex 3), should influence their choice and especially the participatory process for determining them.