…The EU has a strong research base and a vibrant scientific community. It also has a well-developed programme of financial support for research and science and for funding excellence in research – the Horizon 2020 programme. This is key for the performance of our industry and for our ability to compete in strategic sectors in which the EU can make a difference. Improving research infrastructure and making better use of research results is essential to strengthen innovation further, develop new activities and boost the productivity and competitiveness of our economy.
During our mandate, I would like you to focus on the following:
- Contributing, as part of the project team steered and coordinated by the Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, to the jobs, growth and investment package to be presented within the first three months of our mandate. This includes mobilising innovative financial instruments available under Horizon 2020, facilitating investment in education, research and innovation infrastructure and maximising synergies with the implementation of the European Structural and Investment Funds at national and regional level.
- Promoting the international excellence of the EU’s research and science and strengthening research capacities and innovation strategies across all Member States. Monitoring action at national level should also contribute to the work on the European Semester of economic policy coordination, as part of the project team steered and coordinated by the Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, and to make progress towards the research and development target set in the Europe 2020 strategy.
- Establishing strong coordination across the Commission regarding research, science and innovation matters, to make sure that Commission proposals and activities are based on sound scientific evidence and contribute best to our jobs and growth agenda. The Joint Research Centre, under the responsibility of Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Citizenship, should also contribute to this work.
- Focusing more on applied research, with a greater participation of the private sector and a special focus on SMEs, in particular in Horizon 2020, with a view to reinforcing our industrial leadership and our capacity to address societal challenges.
- Maximising the value added and impact of Horizon 2020, ensuring effective use and dissemination of project results. This should also support and enrich policy-making at national and EU level.
- Maximising the synergies between projects funded under Horizon 2020 and the realisation of our priorities as regards the Digital Single Market and the European Energy Union, by making effective use of funds available for instance for energy efficiency, low-carbon technologies and digital technologies.To help you fulfil your responsibilities, the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (RTD) will report to you.