Implementation of the strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation
The strategy for European Union international cooperation in research and innovation (R&I) published in 2012 supports the objectives of strengthening the EU’s R&I excellence, attractiveness and economic and industrial competitiveness, tackling global societal challenges, and supporting the EU’s external policies. It is a building block of the 'Open to the World' priority of the EU's R&I policy.
These objectives apply in different ways depending on the international partner country or region. For EEA, EFTA and EU enlargement countries, the focus is on fostering integration into the European Research Area (ERA). For European Neighbourhood Policy countries, the objective is to support a Common Knowledge and Innovation Space, bringing together R&I cooperation, mobility for academics, and capacity building. For industrialised countries and emerging economies, the objectives include increasing competitiveness, joint tackling of global challenges and increasing participation in international value chains. For developing countries, the emphasis is on promoting their sustainable development and addressing global societal challenges. In all cases, the areas for cooperation are identified on the basis of R&I capacities, market access opportunities, the contribution to international commitments, and the R&I framework conditions in place. The strategy is structured around six main areas of action: (i) opening up the EU's flagship R&I programme, Horizon 2020, to researchers and innovators from across the world and supporting targeted activities on the basis of priority areas for cooperation with international partner countries and regions; (ii) improving the framework conditions that underpin international cooperation; (iii) playing a leading role in multilateral fora and working with international organisations; (iv) reinforcing the partnership with Member States; (v) intensifying synergies with the EU's external policies; and (vi) widening communication and strengthening monitoring.
This document is the second biennial report on the implementation of the strategy and its structure follows that of the strategy itself. The conclusions from the first report were as follows: international cooperation must be better integrated in the Horizon 2020 strategic programming and work programme (WP) development; work on removing obstacles to cooperation must continue; global approaches are needed to tackle global challenges more effectively; sustained focus is needed on improving synergies with Member States and with EU external policies; the communication strategy should be refined; and quantitative indicators should underpin the monitoring of the effectiveness of the strategy. This report highlights the action taken in response to these conclusions in terms of concrete deliverables, such as the new co-funding mechanism launched by the EU and China to support research and innovation projects in strategic areas of common interest.