Since October 2010 the Synergies Expert Group (SEG), made up of experts, rapporteurs and representatives from FP7, the Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and the Cohesion Policy Funds, has been analysing how EU research policy should be aligned across the main European research policy framework programmes and actions.
In June 2011, the group published a report containing several key recommendations for the future of EU research policy. A key pillar of the SEG report was ensuring the regional aspect of research remains at the top of the EU policy agenda. This same topic was a feature shared with another report 'Analysis and recommendations for the future evolution of the Research Potential Activity of the EU-EU FP7 Capacities Programme'. Written by the Expert Group on Research Potential Project Portfolio, the authors made recommendations for the continuing evolution of the Research Potential programme.
Analysis and recommendations for the future evolution of the Research Potential Activity of the EU-EU FP7 Capacities Programme:
The aim of the Regions of Knowledge Programme is to support regions in intensifying the role of research and technological development (RTD) in economic development and to invest better and more in RTD through cultivating innovative 'research-driven clusters' at a local and regional level. The aim is to increase the capacity of European regions to invest in and develop their commitment in research which can contribute significantly to economic development.
The actions undertaken in this area will enable European regions to strengthen their capacity for investing in and carrying out research activities, while maximising their potential for a successful involvement of their operators in European research projects. These activities will be implemented in close relationship with the EU’s regional policy and the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP).
This activity will be implemented through Coordination and Support Actions to cover the following:
- Analysis, development and implementation of research agendas for regional or cross-border clusters;
- Mentoring of regions with a less-developed research profile by highly developed ones;
- Initiatives to improve integration and
- Dissemination activities - conferences, workshops, publications, web-based initiatives.
The European Commission will fund 'Regions of knowledge' activities by selecting project proposals submitted following the publication of a 'Call for proposals'.
Suitable participants would be 'Consortia of Regional research driven clusters or a single research-driven cluster having multinational partnership' - concentrations of research organisations (public research centres, universities, not-for-profit bodies), enterprises (large firms, SMEs), regional or local authorities (local government, regional development agencies) and where appropriate local entities such as chambers of commerce, savings banks and banks, operating in a particular scientific and technological domain or economic sector.