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Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

CORDIS: Community Research and Development Information Service

European Research Area

The European Research Area




Benchmarking national research policies conference

Further information is available from the Greek Presidency Service

Conference Programme with Presentations/Documents

Athens, 17 and 18 January 2003

In January 2000, the Commission adopted a Communication proposing the creation of a European Research Area . (PDF) This project offers a new horizon for scientific and technological activity and for research policy in Europe. It essentially aims at creating conditions making it possible to increase the impact of European research efforts by strengthening the coherence of research activities and policies conducted in Europe.


At the Lisbon European Council on 23-24 March the Heads of State or Government fully endorsed this project and set a series of objectives and an implementation timetable.


Subsequently, the Research Council Resolution adopted on 15 June 2000 called on the Commission, in collaboration with the Member States, to present a full set of indicators and a methodology by October 2000 for benchmarking the 5 following themes:

  • Human resources in RTD, including attractiveness of science and technology professions,
  • Public and private investment in RTD,
  • Scientific and technological productivity,
  • Impact of RTD on economic competitiveness and employment,
  • promotion of RTD culture and public understanding of science

The Commission and the Member States set up a partnership in the form of a High Level Group (HLG) of representatives of Ministers in charge of research.

The Commission established five expert groups to conduct the analysis of these themes. The HLG ensures the flow of information from national sources on statistical data and policy patterns. Together with the Commission, it follows the work of experts and validates the analysis of data and issues.

The five expert groups have produced reports which offer a comprehensive review of the themes selected by the Research Council in June 2001. The reports are now being widely disseminated for discussion and debate. They contain information which should prove useful in the design of better public policies in this area, since they outline policy practices which have proved successful in different settings.

The lessons drawn from this first benchmarking cycle will serve as a basis for designing the second one to be developed under FP 6.

A progress report was presented at the end of January 2002, giving first analyses on policy issues and trends.

  • SEC(2002)129: Commission staff working paper on "Benchmarking of national RTD policies: First results". (PDF)
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Another progress report was presented in June 2001 together with the "Key Figures 2001", which concentrated on data and trends from the available indicators and outlined the issues to be examined.

The initial task of the partnership was to propose relevant indicators and to elaborate the methodology for the five themes selected by the Research Council.

  • SEC(2000)1842: Commission staff working paper on Development of an open method of co-ordination for benchmarking national research policies - Objectives, methodology and indicators. (DOC)
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Last updated on: 2008-04-18