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European research officials contemplate novel solutions for enhancing the impact of research in the community

12. October 2018 - 15:13

High-ranking officials from European countries discuss novel solutions for research and innovation policy in Tallinn today to enhance the impact of research in the community and achieve real change.

The European Commission has proposed that the next research and innovation framework programme “European Horizon” should channel more funds into solving complex cross-sectoral problems that are relevant for citizens. This so-called mission-based approach will encourage more researchers, businesses, investors and innovators from various sectors to combine their efforts for achieving a common goal. The changes aim to increase the impact of research in the community and involve more people in the development and implementation of research programmes.

The Head of Research Department of the Ministry of Education and Research Katrin Pihor noted that sending man to the Moon is often given as an example of a mission. “It was a goal advanced by multiple industries and agencies rather than just a single authority or business, and it was closely monitored by the general public,” said Pihor. “At the meeting, research officials maintained that successful missions call for collaboration between ministries and agencies, and that it is essential to involve the general public and various stakeholders - universities, research institutions and businesses. Completing a mission requires a common understanding of the mission goal and shared responsibility of participants for achieving this goal.”

Pihor added that the substantive aspects and implementation of specific missions are being debated on the European level. “The exchange of experience and ideas between Member States helps reach a common understanding on the type of missions, the entities responsible for their implementation, and the mechanisms which ensure that the parties involved work towards a common goal,” said Pihor.

Today is the second day of the unofficial meeting of EU Research Directors. Representatives of more than 20 Member States as well as Norway and Switzerland have arrived in Tallinn. Jean-Eric Paquet - the Head of DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission - is also present at the meeting.

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