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Press releases 04 July 2024

EERA and more than 100 European Associations call for an ambitious Framework Programme 10 to strengthen EU competitiveness

Amid an accelerating technology race on a global scale, the EU has fallen behind its global competitors in terms of research, development, and innovation (RD&I) investments, hindering its capacity to ensure maximum benefits from its scientific and technological potential.

Against this backdrop, EERA today has joined more than 100 European associations, representing key prominent RD&I stakeholders, in calling for an ambitious European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (FP10) to succeed Horizon Europe in 2028.

The signatories are urging the institutions of the European Union to substantially raise the current budget in view of FP10. They emphasise the importance of placing pan-European collaborative research at the forefront of the Framework Programme to address industrial needs through excellence, ensuring that RD&I are central to Europe’s future competitiveness.

The direction of the EU’s upcoming Framework Programme marks a topical issue of key importance for EERA. Principally, our research community recently published a vision paper for FP10, gathering ten recommendations aiming to foster a robust, competitive, and inclusive research environment. Among the recommendations, and echoing the sentiments of this joint statement, is a call to ensure stable and ambitious funding to strengthen Europe’s ability to address future challenges.

Building on this, with its long-term competitiveness in mind, the EU must do more to attract and retain private RD&I investments across Europe. This is where the importance of a strong and ambitious Framework Programme becomes crucial.

With this joint statement, the signing organisations are advocating for collective EU RD&I investments to be reinforced in the next EU multiannual financial framework (MFF) budget. Moreover, national RD&I investments should simultaneously be guaranteed and at minimum ensure the 3% target of GDP, endeavouring to further mobilise private investments in RD&I.

Furthermore, FP10 should integrate exceptional cross-border collaborative RD&I to support EU competitiveness, with a strong industrial participation. This involves an enhanced emphasis on competitiveness in Pillar II, the most collaborative part of the Framework Programme today, boosting synergies across key research areas and facilitating the flow of knowledge between and within the private and public sectors. A noteworthy proportion of FP10’s total budget should not only be granted to Pillar II, but its activities must also be driven by strategic EU priorities and clearly defined industrial needs. Additionally, competitiveness should act as a key driver for activities in Pillar I and Pillar III.

To remain a model of economic and social prosperity, Europe needs to strongly invest in collaborative RD&I towards advancing technology maturation and innovation. Leveraging the knowledge and expertise of RD&I public and private actors is essential to solidify Europe’s competitiveness and leadership in key technological domains. These efforts will also pave the path for a prosperous and sustainable future.

Read the full press release here.