Commission Communication on International Cooperation in Reseach and Innovation

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On 14 September 2012, the European Commission has adopted a strategy with the title "Enhancing and focusing EU international cooperation in research and innovation: a strategic approach" (COM(2012) 497). It outlines a new strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation, particularly with regard to the implementation of Horizon 2020, the next Framework Programme on Research and Innovation. A staff working document complements the Communication with additional background information and analysis.

The Communication and additional information can be found on the European Commission homepage: EU International Strategy for Research and Innovation


In the following the main points of the Communication are summarised:

International cooperation in research and innovation focuses on the following objectives: (a) Strengthening the Union’s excellence and attractiveness in research and innovation as well as its economic and industrial competitiveness (b) Tackling global societal challenges (c) Supporting the Union’s external policies

International cooperation in research and innovation will pursue a dual approach of openness complemented by targeted international cooperation activities. Horizon 2020 will remain open to participation from across the world, however, there will be a revision to the list of countries which receive automatic funding. Multi-annual roadmaps for cooperation with key partner countries and regions will be developed with three country groupings:

  • Enlargement and neighbourhood countries, and EFTA
  • Developing countries
  • Industrialised countries and emerging economies

The multi-annual roadmaps will be implemented by the following instruments:

  • research and innovation projects with obligatory or recommended participation of third countries
  • softer forms of cooperation (networking between projects, programme managers, etc.)
  • joint initiatives involving the Union and international partners

Reinforcing the partnership between the Commission, the Member States and relevant stakeholders is one of the strategy's goals. Another important aspect is the promotion of common principles for the conduct of international cooperation in research and innovation.

The bilateral S&T agreements with third countries are seen as an important instrument in this strategic approach.

The strategy intends to strenghten implementation, governance, monitoring and evaluation. A biennnual report will analyse the progress.

More information regarding this Communication:


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