Support for the coherent development of policies: specific programme under Strengthening the foundations of the European Research Area of the Sixth framework programme 2002-2006 The coherent development of research and innovation policies in Europe requires a comprehensive understanding of the structure and evolution of science, technology and innovation activities and of the present and future challenges to be addressed by Europes research and innovation policies. The following support activities provide policy makers with knowledge and tools to help in formulating policies: - analyses and studies, work relating to foresight, statistics and science and technology indicators; - benchmarking of research and innovation policies at national, regional and European level; - mapping of scientific and technological activities and excellence in Europe; - improving the regulatory and administrative environment for research and innovation in Europe.To encourage the coherent development of research and innovation policies in Europe thanks to the early identification of challenges and areas of common interest as well as by providing national, regional and Community policymakers with knowledge and decision-aiding tools that can help them formulate policies.1. Analyses and studies, work relating to foresight, statistics and science and technology indicators These activities will support the coherent development of research and innovation policies in Europe through the development and dissemination of science and technology indicators, economic analyses, studies and the exploitation and synthesis of the results of foresight activities carried out at regional, national, European and international levels. The three types of activities are: a) Monitoring and analysis of science and technology foresight and indicators activities; b) Community innovation survey (CIS), studies and analyses on innovation-related trends; c) Co-ordination activities. 2. Benchmarking of research and innovation policies at national, regional and European level The benchmarking activities aim at providing support to improve design and implementation of RTD and innovation policies at national, regional and European level. They also aim at providing further development of synergies and co-ordination of research and innovation efforts in Europe, thus improving their performance and effectiveness. a) Benchmarking research policies activities include topics relevant to developing the ERA and its regional dimension and policies aimed at achieving the goal of increasing EU investment in R&D to 3% of GDP by 2010. b) Benchmarking innovation policies relies on continuation and further development of the Trend Chart on Innovation in Europe. The first phase of the Trend Chart project aiming at benchmarking national innovation policies ran between 2000-2003 (results are available at http://cordis.europa.eu/trendchart). The second phase started in 2004. 3. Mapping scientific and technological excellence in Europe Mapping S&T excellence helps to form part of the knowledge base that is necessary for the development of more effective national research policies. The wide dissemination of the mapping results to policy makers, scientific community, industry and investors should increase the visibility of European research. 4. Improving the regulatory and administrative environment for research and innovation in Europe A variety of framework conditions, involving several policies, have an influence on European research and innovation performance, in particular on the effectiveness and impact of public research and on private sector decisions to invest in research and innovation. Improving framework conditions is particularly important in order to achieve the goal of increasing EU investment in R&D to 3% of GDP by 2010. The objectives of improving the framework conditions for research and innovation in Europe are twofold: - to identify and analyse regulatory and administrative factors having an influence (positive or negative) on research and innovation performance; - to identify and disseminate good practices, and formulate new approaches, with respect to the regulatory and administrative framework, thereby better taking research and innovation into account in the elaboration of other policies.The Commission is responsible for the implementation of the specific programme. The Commission draws up a work programme for the implementation of the specific programme, setting out in greater detail the objectives and scientific and technological priorities, and the timetable for implementation. The work programme takes account of relevant research activities carried out by the member states, associated states and European and international organisations. It shall be updated where appropriate. The Commission is assisted by a committee, composed of representatives of the member states and chaired by the representative of the Commission. The Commission reports regularly on the overall progress of the implementation of the specific programme and provides information on financial aspects. The Commission arranges for independent monitoring and assessment of the framework programme to be conducted concerning the activities carried out in the fields covered by the specific programme.