ERA Progress Report: P2P participation still top score indicator
The recently published 2018 ERA progress report shows that implementation of the European Research Area (ERA) has continued across the majority of the headline indicators, but at a slower rate. The European Commission evaluated, per country, six ERA-priorities1, using eight headline, and twenty-four sub-indicators. The priority “optimal transnational cooperation and competition, including ‘jointly addressing grand challenges’ and ‘research infrastructures’” has one of the highest growth rates (3.9% in 2014-2016) still. Noteworthy, because at the same time almost all countries have seen a slowdown in national GBARD2 allocated to EU-wide transnational public Research and Development investments. According to the report, one of the main perceived and actual benefits of EU-transnational cooperation, is pooling resources and research capacities to more effectively address common challenges. In addition, active participation in Public-Public partnerships (P2P) remains one of the most frequently mentioned strategic goals in the ERA National Action Plans.
In order to step up implementation of the ERA, the Commission calls for a renewed commitment to i) further strengthen shared efforts at all levels; ii) reform national research and innovation systems; and iii) realise a well-functioning ERA. There is additional room for improvement as big differences persist between countries in terms of both performance levels and growth rates. Further improvements for the "transnational cooperation" priority require more systemic coordination between the priorities of P2Ps and national research agendas & programmes, as well as systematic monitoring and evaluation of the impact of participation in P2Ps, ensuring political commitment and the availability of funding.
1 The six ERA implementation priorities are: 1) More effective national research systems; 2) Optimal transnational cooperation and competition, including ‘jointly addressing grand challenges’ and ‘research infrastructures’; 3) An open labour market for researchers; 4) Gender equality and gender mainstreaming in research; 5) Optimal circulation, access to and transfer of scientific knowledge, including ‘knowledge circulation’ and ‘open access’; and 6) International cooperation.
2 GBARD: Government budget allocations for R&D