What we are doing
As an alliance of excellent performing life-science research institutes in Europe, EU-LIFE is committed to teaming up with European institutions and relevant stakeholders to promote better research value in and for Europe. This includes contributing to the public debate and working directly with policymakers for the development of research strategies and concomitant frameworks that deliver science-based solutions to the citizens.
Special attention has been given in participating at an early stage in European-level dialogue on EU framework programmes in many ways, i.e.:
- providing input to policymakers and advocating for our vision on key priorities;
- reinforcing scientific excellence;
- creating a broader definition of impact to support breakthrough scientific discoveries;
- investing in efficient models to connect research and professional knowledge transfer;
- enabling outstanding science and innovation in all corners of Europe;
- attracting and training the next generation of scientists.
EU-LIFE makes regular contributions to help shape the European research landscape, particularly with regard to excellent science in Europe, the successive framework programmes for research and innovation, and the development of the European Research Council (ERC). Some of our latest actions are highlighted below.
Excellent science in Europe
- Contributing to the European Research Area
Sharing EU-LIFE views on research excellence from an institutional perspective through position papers and reports like “Key elements for excellence in research”
Standing for UK’s participation in Horizon Europe through direct contact with political leaders, our own statements and different joint actions with other stakeholders such as the #DealForScience campaign with the Wellcome Trust and EuroScience, and a joint statement addressed to the European Commission by over 200 institutions representing the European research and innovation community
Engaging in dialogue about innovative technologies and scientific methodologies that raise ethical concerns through initiatives such as the European Sustainable Agriculture through Genome Editing (SAGE) and “The use of animals for the generation of high-quality antibodies remains necessary for research and therapeutic applications”
- Providing input into the formulation of the concept of the European Innovation Council
- Contributing regularly in the shaping of the Horizon Europe programme
- Involvement in the discussions on Health Cluster strategic programming with several papers and statements such as the “EU-LIFE calls for impactful collaborative research in European biomedicine”
- Reacting to the Horizon Europe’s Cancer Mission proposal by issuing a statement and additional recommendations
- Participating as stakeholders in European Commission events in the design of the EU4Health Programme
- Reviewing implementation procedures under the Horizon 2020 mid-term evaluation
- Presenting the “EU-LIFE recommendations for the Strategic programming of Horizon Europe’s Health Cluster”, which resulted from an internal study among EU-LIFE partners, to relevant policymakers at European, national and regional level
- Supporting ERC’s vision and priorities, and enrolling in regular discussions about its mission
- Nominating ERC members and president, in the context of our regular actions in search of opportunities for researchers to play prominent roles in EU policy
- Submitting concrete proposals on challenging aspects of ERC
- Conducting public campaigns with ERC and other stakeholders with the aim to give visibility to ERC’s impact in science and society
- ERC Master Class
- EU-LIFE Policy Webinar: Moving forward in research assessment - perspectives from research institutes, researchers and funders
- EU-LIFE Policy Webinar: Opportunities for and of postdoctoral researchers in Europe
- Internal sessions on the role of research institutes in the ERA ecosystem
The economic, social and environmental development of tomorrow depends on the discoveries of today. This must be reflected in the next Research Framework Programme Horizon Europe and that’s why we are urging the European Parliament and the EU Council to increase the Horizon Europe budget as recommended by the Lamy report to 150 Billion Euros.
We also strongly encourage Horizon Europe to expand the extremely successful programmes initiated in previous Framework programmes, namely the ERC grant system and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, in addition to collaborative projects that address technological and environmental challenges facing our society today. These actions attract and foster the best and brightest minds, and encourage ground-breaking research that will ensure Europe’s leadership in technological and biomedical innovation in the future.
Expected timing of impact of research outputs in Horizon Europe should as well be realistically adjusted to a longer timescale and its definition broadened beyond economic competitiveness to include wider social impact. The highest value over time comes from high-risk, open-ended excellent research. This should be the main priority of public funding such as Horizon Europe. The investment in close to the market stages will then follow from the private sector.
Why it’s important
It is a fact that investment in research and innovation is at the core of economic and social development of any society at any time. World leading Research & Innovation is critical to the promotion of the wealth and well-being of citizens and key for the realisation of the ideal of the European Union (EU) and to address the Sustainable Development Goals.
It is clear from studies on previous Framework Programmes that every Euro spent on Research & Innovation will generate roughly five-fold the investment in economic benefit, as well as improving social, health and environmental standards.
However, research and innovation still represents less than 10% of the total EU budget.