On behalf of the expert group that has evaluated the EU's Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7), Louise O. Fresco, president of Wageningen University and Research Centre has handed over the final report to EU Research Commissioner Carlos Moedas, on 19 November in Brussels. The ex-post evaluation report contains an assessment of more than 25,000 research projects and programmes, and provides recommendations for the future, especially for Horizon2020. The expert group was headed by Fresco, reporter was André Martinuzzi of the Vienna University of Economics and Business.
The 7th EU Research Framework Program has supported more than 30,000 universities, research institutions, companies and NGOs with a volume of approximately 55 billion Euros between 2007 and 2013. To evaluate the impact of FP7, the European Commission composed in September 2014 an independent expert group. Its members were selected on the basis of their expertise and experience in the areas of science and technology covered by the 7th EU Research Framework Program.
EU Research Commissioner Carlos Moedas underlined the importance of the evaluation report for the future of European research and development. “Europe's investments in research and development contribute to growth, create jobs and provide solutions for societal challenges. The evaluation report provides excellent information on how efficiently and effectively the EU Research Framework Program has performed. It also contains many valuable suggestions. The European Commission will take them into consideration when designing the future of the EU Research Framework Programs.”
The expert group has dealt particularly with the effects on scientific excellence, economic competitiveness and social benefits. “We must align the Framework Programs between the EU and European member states, and set strategic priorities in areas where Europe can play a leading role in the world,” summarizes Louise O. Fresco some of the recommendations. “We should also give the citizens of Europe a more prominent role in the research and consider them as equal partners to solve social problems.”
Recommendations for Horizon 2020
The experts' report contains a number of recommendations for the ongoing research program Horizon 2020. Early 2016 the European Commission will present its conclusions and proposals for the future of European research and development to the EU Parliament.