Mutual Learning Excercises


Mutual Learning Exercise on Knowledge Valorisation - Focus on Skills, Intersectoral Cooperation and Incentive Systems

Increasing knowledge valorisation is essential to deliver solutions to new opportunities and challenges. The Mutual Learning Exercise (MLE) on Knowledge Valorisation aims to help Member States and Associated Countries to improve their policies and public support for knowledge uptake and deployment, putting the focus on skills, intersectoral cooperation and incentive systems. It builds on, and contributes to implementing, European Research Area (ERA) Action 7 ‘Upgrade EU guidance for a better knowledge valorisation’, notably the Council Recommendation on the Guiding Principles for Knowledge Valorisation. As inter-sectoral mobility is one of the most important streams of knowledge circulation and uptake, and skills play a pivotal role in this process, the exercise also contributes to the implementation of ERA Action 4 ‘Promote attractive and sustainable research careers, balanced talent circulation and international, transdisciplinary and inter-sectoral mobility across the ERA’ and promotes synergies between these priorities.

The MLE shall provide all ERA countries with a toolbox of good practices, measures and programmes that support the translation of research results and knowledge into value for society and the economy, and support interoperability and diversification of research and innovation careers.

Mutual Learning Exercise for Citizen Science

The "Mutual Learning Exercise" (MLE) on "Citizen Science Initiatives - Policy and Practice" is intended to enable the participating countries or their representatives to exchange experiences, lessons learned and best practices, to learn from other countries, and to promote Citizen Science in Europe. The aim is therefore mutual learning and the development of common policy recommendations at European level.

The MLE aims to facilitate the sharing of information, experiences and lessons learned, as well as to identify best practices, policies and programmes related to the different approaches at local, regional and national levels to support and scale up Citizen Science. Furthermore, the goal is to identify citizen science campaigns that have a high potential for collaborative implementation across the European Research Area.

Mutual Learning Exercise on “Foreign Interference”

International cooperation is essential in the STI sector to ensure excellence and the joint work on societal challenges.

However, as knowledge is increasingly becoming a strategic national asset, it is also prone to certain security risks such as foreign interference.

To foster joint understanding and the exchange of best practices in this field, 12 Member States participate in the MLE on “Foreign Interference”.

Foreign interference occurs when “activities are carried out by, or on behalf of, a foreign state-level actor, which are coercive, covert, deceptive, or corrupting, and are contrary to the sovereignty, values, and interests of the European Union.
Higher Education Institutions and Research Performing Organisations are of particular interest to foreign actors due to their prominent role in society and their creation of knowledge and innovative new technologies that are crucial for tackling societal challenges and ensuring prosperity and are often relevant for dual civil and military usages”.

The Mutual Learning Exercise will focus on three topics:

  1. Awareness raising and stakeholder engagement
  2. Understanding and identifying foreign interference threats
  3. Measures to counter foreign interference threats

The kick-off meeting took place online on 28 April 2023, and a first country visit is planned for the beginning of June 2023, followed by three further meetings in 2023/2024. The MLE was concluded in April 2024.

Mutual Learning Exercise on Research Careers

The foundation for a strong and competitive research and innovation system is constituted by researchers. Europe now boasts 2 million researchers, and it is crucial to ensure their careers remain attractive across all sectors of society.

In response, the Council adopted the Council Recommendations on a European framework to attract and retain research, innovation, and entrepreneurial talents in 18 December 2023. This includes a new Charter for Researchers to anhance working conditions.

The aim of this Mutual Learning Exercise (MLE) is to support Member Statesin implementing the new standards set out in the Council Recommendation. It addresses key aspects of research career attractiveness, such as recruitment, working conditions, skills, inter-sectoral mobility, career development, and balanced talent circulation.

The MLE will cover the following topics:

  1. Recruiment, working conditions, career development and progression
  2. Skills and inter-sectoral, inter-disciplinary and interoperable careers
  3. Enabling conditions for attractive R&I systems and balanced circulation of talents
  4. A conducive policy and legal context for attractive research careers, including incentives for the implementation of the Charter for Researchers

The Kick-off meeting, inlcuding the discussion of the first topic "Recruitment, working conditions, career development and progression" is scheduled for 27-28 June 2024.