Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

ESC recommends greater coordination of national and Community RTD strategies

The Economic and Social Committee has recently published an "Opinion on the coordination of research and technological development (RTD) policies". The committee expresses concern at the lack of coordination of national and Community RTD strategies in the European Union and th...
The Economic and Social Committee has recently published an "Opinion on the coordination of research and technological development (RTD) policies". The committee expresses concern at the lack of coordination of national and Community RTD strategies in the European Union and the limited capacity for quickly converting scientific and technological achievements into industrial and commercial successes.

The Committee believes that the speed and scale of the changes facing Europe, in particular global competitiveness, high unemployment and the pace of technological innovation, make it essential to pursue a coordinated RTD policy instead of continuing the presently compartementalized approach which makes it difficult to accurately assess RTD innovation needs.

In this context, the Committee recommends five parallel actions:

- Using coordination as an instrument to meet the needs of the current Community RTD framework, for example by creating a network for systematic exchange of information on European Union RTD activities which can be freely accessed, and by mapping out scenarios for joint consideration at regional, national and Community level for subsequent RTD strategies. This should be accompanied by the overhaul of the bodies which shape and implement Community research programmes;
- Developing a flexible inter-disciplinary approach in the lead-up to the Fifth Framework Programme, based on greater transparency and improved coordination with national research actions, concentrated on agreed key priorities;
- Boosting international cooperation through coordinating actions of the European Union with those of the Member States, both in international forums and when participating in programmes of world-wide interest;
- Exploring new, innovative coordination methods right from the planning stage, for example by developing industrial association projects involving research players and end-users from several Member States, to further the key strategic objectives of Community research and innovation policy;
- Boosting the coordination framework of all other Community policies to achieve convergence and consistency of instruments and actions which further the functional research-innovation-market process.
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