Research, innovation are vital to ensure sustainable recovery for all

Next Horizon Europe programme has been further strengthened by €13.5bn

Photo: EU Mariya Gabriel.

The role of research and innovation for the economic recovery and for strengthening of societies’ resilience following the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, were among the key points of the discussion of the EU research ministers, held on Friday and led by the Croatian Presidency of the Council.

At the videoconference, chaired by Blaženka Divjak, Croatia’s Minister of Science and Education, was also attended by the Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager and EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel. On the initiative of the Croatian Presidency, the videoconference was also attended by two renowned scientists as guest speakers - Peter Piot, Scientific Advisor to the EC President and Igor Rudan, Professor of the University of Edinburgh.

Research ministers stressed the importance of investing in research and innovation and acknowledged that without coordinated action by all actors in the field of R&I it will be difficult to overcome the current crisis.

Ministers exchanged views on lessons learned through managing this crisis from an R&I policy perspective, discussed the link between investing in R&I and fostering the creation of future jobs and examined ways of enhancing the governance of the European Research Area.

Many ministers highlighted the importance of sharing information and research data and also touched upon the role of artificial intelligence in future jobs creation.

Concerning the future Framework Program for Research and Innovation - Horizon Europe, they recalled the need to ensure complementarity and synergies with other EU programmes, as well as to attract additional investment in research at regional, national and European level.

Most of them spotlighted the fact that research and innovation play a crucial role in the Recovery plan, contribute to the objectives of the European Green Deal, toughen cooperation with SMEs, promote and expand international cooperation.

Commissioner Gabriel accented that the “renewed commitment to modernise our economies, making them greener, more digital and more resilient, will ensure that we come out stronger from this crisis”. Research and innovation are vital to ensure a sustainable recovery for all, she stressed noting that the next Horizon Europe programme has been further strengthened by € 13.5bn through the Next Generation EU instrument. She also informed ministers about the measures foreseen in the EC Communication on the future of the European Research Area, planed for publishing in July.

Minister Divjak stressed that science is crucial for finding the answer to the crisis, both for the economy and for strengthening the cultural, health, social and economic prosperity of the entire society. Joint coordination, data sharing, citizen involvement, investing in science and focusing on future jobs are just some of the basic principles in addressing the crisis, with the aim of protecting citizens and ensuring a sustainable and balanced quality of life, she explained. 


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