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How can the EU help with research and innovation?

The House of Lords Internal Market, Infrastructure and Employment EU Sub-Committee are launching a new inquiry into the effectiveness of EU research and innovation proposals.

Questions the inquiry will seek answers to include:

What are the essential elements of an effective proposal relating to research and innovation?

In terms of informing public policy and generating economic growth, does the EU use the outputs of research and innovation effectively in comparison with other countries, for example, USA, Australia, Singapore, etc?

The inquiry is being conducted against the backdrop of the Europe 2020 strategy, which supports growth and jobs, and the ongoing negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020. In these negotiations, the Committee has consistently advocated a greater share of a limited EU budget for investment in research and innovation, with a reduction in other areas including the Common Agricultural Policy.

Chair of the Committee, Baroness O'Cathain, said:

“During the past year, we have investigated a number of EU proposals for projects and strategies that place a significant emphasis on research and innovation.  These include initiatives such as the EU ‘smart cities' innovation partnership and the completion of the European research area.

“Through our scrutiny of these and other relevant proposals, we have discovered some cross-cutting issues that have relevance to a number of EU plans and initiatives. The Committee has now decided to pull this information together and use it as the basis for our new inquiry, which will explore the effectiveness of EU research and innovation proposals.

“We are particularly interested in hearing from those working in research and innovation in sectors where those disciplines play a particularly vital role; for example, transport, medicine, agriculture or technology. We would also encourage anyone with relevant expertise and experience in these issues to submit evidence for us to consider.”

The Committee's call for evidence, published today, asks other questions including:

  • Has the EU been successful in engaging private sector support for projects with a strong research and innovation dimension and are there ways for this to be improved?
  • Do the EU and its institutions provide sufficient information about the monitoring and evaluation of their projects and strategies?
  • Are stakeholders at all levels properly consulted in the development of EU proposals on research and innovation and are concerns properly taken into consideration?
  • Are the EU-facilitated Member State cooperation groups, associations, networks and councils effective or could they be improved or altered?

The deadline for submitting written evidence is Monday 11 February 2013.

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