The European Union’s next framework programme for research and innovation is currently being prepared. The FP9 budget is of major importance to Finland and the whole of Europe. It affects the ability of universities and research institutes to help in responding to global challenges such as climate change, transformation of labour markets and the polarization of societies.
– High-quality research plays a vital role in securing people’s everyday life. As a high-level research country, Finland also has all the prerequisites to accept its global responsibility. Without sufficient resources, however, this will not be possible, states Universities Finland UNIFI’s Chair Jukka Mönkkönen.
The budget of the next framework programme must be doubled to €160 billion to ensure that the universities and research institutes have the capacity to operate. This has also been suggested by the European Commission’s expert group led by Pascal Lamy as well as by the European University Association (EUA) and 12 other university organizations.
Doubling the budget would benefit European societies greatly. According to the Commission it would create 650,000 jobs by year 2040 and add 0.46 % to GDP. It would help the EU to become a global leader in many areas such as clean transport, infectious diseases and the circular economy. In addition it would increase competitiveness and support economic growth.
– Europe could emphasize the possibilities of commercializing research results much more than it currently does. Applying the results to the markets and putting them to use should happen faster. This would be possible with increased research and innovation funding, says Juhani Damski, Chair of the Finnish partnership for research institutes (Tulanet).
It is crucial to the future of Europe that good research ideas will be utilized. At the moment this is not the case, since 75 % of high-quality proposals submitted cannot be accommodated within the framework programme. By strengthening the funding for the FP9, we can make sure that the talent of researchers will no longer be wasted and that Finland and other European countries will be able to tackle the future challenges together.
Jukka Mönkkönen, Chair, Universities Finland UNIFI, +358 40 728 8057
Juhani Damski, Chair, Finnish partnership for research institutes (Tulanet), +358 29 539 2200
Universities Finland UNIFI is a co-operational organisation of Finnish Universities. Tulanet is a joint organisation of ten Finnish national research institutes.