ALLEA Signs Open Letter Calling for Finalising UK Association to Horizon Europe

An open letter to the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen signed by 25 European umbrella research and innovation organisations – including ALLEA – urges the European Commission and UK Government to work towards a successful UK association to Horizon Europe, “to safeguard this valuable and mutually beneficial R&I cooperation”.

The signatories call for moving forward the UK association to Horizon Europe “without further delay”:

“The EU knowledge community collectively welcomed the provision in Protocol I of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement for the UK to associate to Horizon Europe. The subsequent Q&A document from the European Commission provided us with the reassurance that UK entities could apply with EU partners for the first multi-beneficiary calls.

Based on the Protocol and those reassurances, for the past 10 months our universities, businesses and research institutions have been working with UK partners with a shared vision and in good faith that the UK would soon be a full associate member.

But the absence of a clear timeline for finalising UK association is now causing increasing concern. This lingering uncertainty risks endangering current and future plans for collaboration.

We are rapidly approaching a crunch point. With the first Horizon Europe grant agreements approaching and new calls soon to be launched, UK association must be finalised without further delay.”

The joint letter brings together over 1,000 universities and universities of applied sciences, 56 academies of science, 38 research performing and funding organisations, 33 rectors’ conferences, as well as 120 regional organisations.

The signatories underline that the EU research programme Horizon Europe’s success will hinge on its commitment to excellence and global outlook. “The only way to move forward from the Covid-19 pandemic is as a global community working together to drive research and innovation through collaboration.”

Read the letter

ALLEA Participates in Workshop on the Future of ERA Governance

On 2 September, ALLEA participated in a workshop on the future governance of the European Research Area (ERA) organised by the Permanent Representation of Slovenia to the EU in Brussels. The event is part of the programme of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The workshop addressed the ongoing policy discussions on the future framework of the ERA, the flagship policy of the European Commission to create a “single, borderless market for research, innovation and technology across the EU”.

ALLEA was represented by its Board member Maarten Prak (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, KNAW) and member of the Horizon Europe Working Group. The workshop was attended by a variety of stakeholders representing the Research and Innovation community.

The workshop addressed the options of an expanded policy framework of the ERA and the redesign of its multi-level governance, including in particular the reinforced involvement and dialogue of reasearch stakeholders with policymakers.

A New ERA

In 2020, the European Commission published a Communication to set up new priorities and to tackle new challenges for research in Europe. Its ambition is to revitalise the project and transform it to match generational changes and to draw on the lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic crisis.

The foundations for a new ERA are being laid with the Pact for Research and Innovation. On 16 July, the European Commission adopted its proposal for a Council Recommendation on “A Pact for Research and Innovation in Europe” to support the implementation of national European Research Area (ERA) policies.

ALLEA is contributing to these policy developments through its long-standing network of experts on research policy. In August 2020, ALLEA submitted a response to the European Commission’s public consultation on the future of the ERA. Our federation has supported and offered advice on the construction and shaping of the ERA since its beginnings.

ALLEA contributes to European Commission’s consultation on the European Research Area

ALLEA submitted a response to the European Commission’s public consultation on the future of the European Research Area (ERA). This initiative seeks to relaunch and revitalize the ERA and make it better able to address major challenges such as the green and digital transitions, or the COVID-19 crisis.

In its position, ALLEA supports continuous ambition “to broaden the ERA’s outreach and connectivity by promoting open science and research mobility within and beyond its borders, as well as access to research facilities and collections”.

“As innovation is not restricted to technological and economic growth but also concerns social and cultural adaption, it is critical to broaden the remit of the ERA and that Union programmes consider societal values, including fairness/equality, resilience/sustainability, diversity, openness, transparency and trustworthiness,” the contribution states.

The statement points out that “the core of the EU network remains mainly composed of EU-15 participants, with only a restricted number of institutions acting as hubs. Systematic efforts and specific mechanisms are required to encourage researchers across the career cycle and participants from EU-13 and Associated countries to actively shape the EU-wide networks across the ERA.”

The consultation was closed on 3 August and all stakeholder contributions are available here.

Read ALLEA’s contribution.