Following conversations at the General Assembly with Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General of the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, Guild members valued the Commission’s work to engage with concerns raised by a number of stakeholders from EU-13 countries around impediments to more effective Research and Innovation. Guild members also noted that a number of EU-13 countries had been remarkably successful in capturing Horizon 2020 funding for Research and Innovation. The Guild will, in consequence, develop a commitment to:
- help overcome the barriers to better research and innovation across Europe. The Guild will work with its members and with other universities to leave behind increasingly unhelpful binary perspectives about different parts of Europe. This will sharpen a focus on national and regional challenges in enhancing research and innovation, wherever they exist.
- In particular, the Guild will work with its members and other stakeholders to develop ideas around the compatibility of salaries – and other barriers that might exist, in response to concerns raised by many European universities around this issue.
- Develop proposals, for the next Framework Programme, about how the European Commission can work, with national and regional governments as well as with universities, to increase university autonomy and the freedom of the researcher.This crucial for enhancing research and innovation in European universities.
In the words of Jan Palmowski, Secretary-General of the Guild: “The defense of academic freedom and the integrity of the researcher stand at the beginning of The Guild’s founding principles. Many studies show how these are closely linked to institutional autonomy and success in research and innovation. We recognize the work the Commission has done to enhance research and innovation across the whole of Europe, and we will take a particularly active part in contributing to further work on this.”