The House of Lords will this afternoon debate The Effectiveness of EU Research and Innovation Proposals, the report issued by the House of Lords EU Sub-Committee on Internal Market, Infrastructure and Employment in April.
The report found that red tape and complicated rules around getting access to EU research and innovation grants were holding back small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK.
It also found that the UK Government has an important role to play in supporting SMEs in this country to get involved in EU-funded projects.
Lord Kakkar who is Professor of Surgery at University College London and sits on the Committee, will open the debate. Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Minister, will respond for the Government.
Commenting ahead of the debate Lord Kakkar said:
“The Committee welcomes the fact that UK higher education institutions and large companies have been so successful in securing research and innovation funding from the EU, but more needs to be done to support SMEs in securing funding to a similar level.
In welcoming the renewed commitment of the EU to funding Research and Innovation, the Committee emphasised the need for a relentless focus on excellence - with precious funds being directed towards the highest quality applications, thus ensuring the greatest overall gain for the EU and its citizens.
The Committee also identifies the need to cut red tape in the application process. The time-to-grant after a successful application is too long and needs to be shortened to ensure innovation can be explored quickly and the resulting benefits realised.
We await with interest the response from the Commission.”
Other members due to speak in the debate include: