For the Future of Europe: Setting the agenda through frontier-led and collaborative science
In its position paper on the next Framework Programme, the Guild calls for a significant budget increase for research and innovation (R&I), to reflect the importance of new knowledge in shaping Europe’s future. “Not only do we need to maintain a focus on the creation of growth and jobs in Europe – we also need research and innovation to address the fundamental concerns of Europeans about their welfare, security, and the transformation of their communities,” Jan Palmowski, Secretary-General of the Guild said.
Given the growing significance of research and innovation, the Guild calls for the next R&I budget to be raised to €130bn. This should include an increase in the budget for frontier-led research funded by the European Research Council (ERC) to €4bn per year, in line with the calls made by the Scientific Council of the ERC.
The Guild calls for doubling the funding for Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), to support the next generation of outstanding researchers across Europe. It also calls for the establishment of ‘returning grants’ for scientists who continue their research work at their home institutions after pursuing their careers abroad. The purpose is to maximise the openness of national research systems to internationally outstanding scientists and to prevent brain drain.
This enhanced support for frontier-led science will ensure that Europe will maximise its ability to attract and retain the best minds to identify and solve the key problems of our time.
In its call to strengthen European science and innovation, the Guild stresses that investment must be based on the core added value of EU funding: excellence and collaboration. As Jan Palmowski explained, “Nowhere else in the world is there a transnational funding programme of such scale and effectiveness, that attracts such intense competition for ideas across borders; and nowhere else is it possible for the best researchers to collaborate on solving our problems on this scale.” The Guild’s recommendations for FP9 focus on strengthening excellence, enhancing collaboration across Europe, and ensuring the best possible circulation of new ideas amongst researchers and citizens. In this way, scientists and innovators can be empowered to participate in setting the agenda for the future of Europe.