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EU Public-Private Partnerships in Research and Innovation

November 14, 2012 (revised on June 6, 2013)

About Euro-CASE

The European Council of Academies of Applied Sciences, Technologies and Engineering is an independent non-profit organisation of national Academies of engineering, applied sciences and technologies from 21 European countries. Euro-CASE acts as a permanent forum for exchange and consultation between European Institutions, Industry and Research. Through its Member Academies, Euro-CASE has access to top expertise (around 6,000 experts) and provides impartial, independent and balanced policy advice on technological and innovation issues with a clear European dimension to European Institutions and national Governments. In 2012 Euro-CASE has launched an Innovation Platform which consists of members of Euro-CASE Academies from science, engineering and business. The platform develops policy recommendations relevant for member states and EU Innovation Policy.

Execuitve Summary

• As they provide structures and incentives for the collaboration of researchers and the industry, public-private partnerships can be a highly effective instrument for turning research findings into innovative and marketable products. Providing appropriate surrounding conditions for this collaborative process should be a central issue for European research politics.
• Euro-CASE recommends that under Horizon 2020, the European Union establishes a unified, comprehensive, open, and competitive framework for the development of new public-private partnerships at European level complemented by a corresponding legal regulatory structure. In the next Framework Programme after Horizon 2020, this framework should result in a dedicated Research Public-Private Partnership Funding Programme for establishing new research public-private partnerships.
• This Research Public-Private Partnership Funding Programme should focus on a dedicated bottom-up strategy and on a competitive selection process aimed at achieving scientific excellence.  This programme should help foster the strategic development of public-private partnerships with respect to independent and autonomous actions which go beyond mere research funding.
• Under the terms of the proposed new focus on innovation, regulations and conditions for the investment of public funds by the European Union should be explicated in such a way that industry research policy and competition policy are kept in a pragmatic and sensible balance.
• Political bodies should concentrate on providing the best possible surrounding conditions and incentives for the development of public-private partnerships and should make use of more modern mechanisms of governmental control, such as target and performance agreements, supplemented by a streamlined and effective auditing process. Participation of the European Commission in the governing structures of existing public-private partnerships in research should be reconsidered in this light.
• Euro-CASE asks its member academies for support in bringing together national public-private partnerships at the European level, in integrating researchers coming from countries with a comparatively low level of innovative activities and in using potential synergies among national funding programmes for the development of partnerships and innovations.

 Download the position paper