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European Industrial and RI Interaction and Support Study

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Strengthening the link between research and industry

New approaches and mechanisms to support more robust relationships between research infrastructures (RIs) and industry will help advance innovation across the EU and help boost the economy.

Industrial Technologies

Research, development and innovation (RDI) have come a long way across the Europe in recent decades, thanks to sophisticated EU-funded RIs. However, it is important to gauge the return on investment of such RIs and ensure that their links with industry are robust. The EU-funded project 'European industrial and RI interaction and support study' (EIRIISS) worked on assessing the effectiveness of these RIs and improving upon it. The project investigated the links and support mechanisms between research and industry, and identified measures to maximise the benefits from these interactions. To achieve its aims, EIRIISS studied relevant policies, examined related literature, undertook case studies, conducted surveys and interviewed key stakeholders in order to upgrade research–industry links. It then outlined many different ways to support RIs beyond direct research and development (R&D) funding. EIRIISS revealed three areas where support is needed, the first of which focused on increasing the visibility of opportunities for interactions between industry and RIs. The second area called for improving on how funding support could focus on industries that are more likely to engage with RIs and vice versa. The third area of support concerned best practices in procurement and knowledge transfer, involving networking of procurement professionals and encouraging industry to interact more readily with RIs. In effect, the project team delivered recommendations on the scope, size and best means of support for industry to benefit from technological innovation. It disseminated its findings through workshops, RIs, academic institutions and industry, paving the way for improved research–industry collaboration. The study's results covered EU policies, national strategies and sector networks on the topic, including an in-depth analysis of best practices in the RI marketplace. Among its key recommendations, the study highlighted the need for RIs to involve industry as early as possible in existing and future RI projects. It also highlighted important trends on the topic, such as an increased investment in RIs and industry's continued interest in engaging with RIs. Overall, EIRIISS is expected to improve support for industry working with RIs, leading to increased economic potential for the high-tech industry in Europe through EU policy and funding.

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