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Feasibility Study for a monitoring of progress in the activities of the Innovation Union performance in the domain of the European Research Area and its interaction with innovation

Final Report Summary - ERA_MONITORING (Feasibility study for a monitoring of progress … innovation union performance in the domain of the European Research Area and its interaction with innovation)

Executive summary:

The study has addressed the development and testing of three composite indicators to measure progress in several areas linked to the European Research Area (ERA). The methodology indicated in the 2008 OECD-JRC handbook of composite indicators construction was used.

Project Context and Objectives:

The main objective of the project was the development and testing of the following three composite indicators:
1) construction and integration of ERA, to monitor the overall performance of the science and technology system;
2. structural change, to monitor the increase of the knowledge component in the national economy of each Member State (MS) towards closing the technology gap in existing sectors of the economy;
3. research excellence, to monitor the results of policy actions aimed at strengthening research institutions in Europe.

Project results:

Firstly, the feasibility of a composite indicator to measure progress in the construction and integration of ERA was studied. The indicators required for this study and the theoretical framework have been drawn and adapted using the headline indicators proposed by the expert group report on ERA indicators and monitoring?2009 EUR 24171 EN. The results combine economic and statistical expertise and present a comprehensive and flexible framework for an evidence-based monitoring of progress towards the ERA. Details are given in deliverable: 2012 EUR 25278 EN.

Secondly, the feasibility of a composite indicator of structural change towards a more knowledge-intensive economy in Europe was studied focusing on compositional structural change. The indicators of compositional structural change address modifications in the composition of technologies, research and development, output, exports, foreign direct investments, towards an economy that is becoming more and more knowledge-intensive. At the international level, the composite indicator reveals leadership of the United States in the compositional structural change, followed by Japan, the European Union (EU)-27 and China, in this order. Details are given in deliverable: 2012 EUR 25279 EN.

Thirdly, the feasibility of a composite indicator of research excellence in Europe was studied based on the theoretical framework proposed by the 2011 report of the expert group on the measurement of innovation 'Indicators of research excellence', co-authored by Rémi Barré, Hugo Hollanders and Ammon Salter. The report identified a scoreboard of indicators to describe research excellence in terms of a research and innovation system. We considered the quality profile of 22 indicators for 41 countries and, after performing multivariate analysis, concluded that 13 indicators could be accommodated into a revised framework encompassing the following three dimensions: excellence of public research, interactions / collaborations, excellence of industrial actors. Details are given in deliverable: 2012 EUR 25488 EN.

Potential impact:

The three composite indicators are meant to become highly visible in the implementation of the Innovation Union and are expected to have a large expected impact, given that this activity is at the core of the Innovation Union flagship initiative and is part of the EU 2020 growth strategy. In this context, the availability of quantitative measures of ERA, structural change and research excellence is of paramount importance.

This project represents the ongoing activity to translate the vision 2020 into a series of strategic objectives through indicators and targets, in order to monitor and evaluate the progress of the EU, MS and regions in the fields of ERA, structural change and research excellence.

Thanks to the methodologies available to construct and validate composite scores, the availability of robust indicators will provide the Commission with more solid grounds on which to implement the EU 2020 strategy.

Given the nature of this pilot action and its political sensitivity, the composite indicators of ERA progress, structural change and research excellence will be disseminated primarily to policy makers and experts of European MS in view of the preparation of the full-fledged project (further dissemination could be made by the JRC previous consultation with directorate general for research and innovation). Only after the completion of the fully-fledged project, the composite scores could be used by the European Commission for the communication of results to both policy makers and the media.

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