R&I partnerships boost the economy, according to EC evaluation
On 9 October 2017, the European Commission published the outcome of its interim evaluations of public-private and public-public partnerships supported by Horizon 2020. According to these evaluations, research partnerships between the EU, the private sector and the Member States are "on track to deliver on their objectives, to improve people's lives and to increase Europe's international competitiveness". These partnerships are active in a broad range of sectors, developing for instance treatments for poverty-related diseases, designing green transport technologies and supporting high-tech small and middle sized enterprises.
Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: "The evaluations show that our partnerships with industry and Member States already strengthen our economy and improve our quality of life. They enable us to tackle issues that no single company or country can deal with alone. We will use the evaluation results to further improve these initiatives and to increase their impact."
The evaluation of the seven public-private partnerships called Joint Undertakings (JUs) under Horizon 2020 and their six predecessors under the previous (seventh) framework programme confirms that the partnerships contribute directly to EU competitiveness and policy goals. The key strength of the JUs is their ability to engage major industry partners across borders and to overcome fragmentation in their sectors. The Commission also estimates that leveraged private sector funding already equals or exceeds targets in four JUs, and is closing in on the target for the remaining three.
The evaluation is based on the work of independent experts and the results of a stakeholder consultation. It also identifies some areas for further improvement. These include changes to Key Performance Indicators in order to even better measure the impact of the JUs, the need for inclusion of a wider range of stakeholders either in the governance structures or in projects, increased interaction between the Governing Boards and their advisory bodies, and an improved alignment of JU activities with research and innovation priorities at EU, national and regional level, in particular with Smart Specialization priorities.
A separate evaluation of public-public partnerships supported by the EU via Horizon 2020 highlights that these large joint research and innovation programmes of several EU Member States, countries associated to Horizon 2020 and, in some cases, also third countries contribute to more effective and efficient coordination and cooperation in and outside Europe. For example, about 50% of all metrology-related research in Europe is integrated within the European Metrology Programme for Research and Innovation.
The evaluation also identifies some challenges for these partnerships, and the Commission will use it to develop proposals on partnerships in the next Framework Programme.
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