Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 27

to be considered include whether or not Horizon
2020 encompasses tangible simplification for
participants and if social sciences and
humanities have been successfully embedded
into the programme. It is hoped the review will
enable the Commission to really take the
opinions of the research community onboard.
Beyond Horizon 2020, important science policy
developments are underway with the review
and re-focusing of the European Research
Area. With the framework conditions for the
ERA considered by the European Commission
to be in place as of the end of 2014, EU
member states are now developing a new ERA
roadmap. Following on from the Commission’s
2012 ERA Communication, the roadmap will
identify priorities where EU member states
agree that progress can be made. There is an
important debate to be had around ERA policy
and around the roles of national and European
organisations in delivering the ERA.
One key issue is the alignment of policies and
programmes across Europe; this may sound
fine, but it is crucial that any such alignment
is done with careful reflection and takes into
account the specificities of the national
systems that make up Europe. Across national
research systems, there will be significant
variety, reflecting the diversity of the countries
themselves. Funding can be channelled in
various directions, using several mechanisms
and evaluated in numerous ways – each
designed to achieve a particular purpose.
Whilst collaboration could add value, each
national system must have the freedom to
operate the policy and funding mix that is
most appropriate for the country. A strong
Europe needs strong national research
systems, and ‘different’ does not necessarily
mean ‘fragmented’.
Open Science
Another current topic where Science Europe
has a keen interest is ‘open science’, or
‘Science 2.0’ – ‘Science in Transition’, to
use the terminology of the recent
Commission consultation. Open science
connects many topics on which Science
Europe is already actively working and which
are set out in the Science Europe Roadmap,
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
published at the end of 2013; this includes open access to
publications and research data, facilitating science in society, and
enhancing research careers.
Largely, open science practices are developing organically, driven by
researchers within the various research disciplines. A major challenge
will be to ensure that any policy intervention in this area supports and
incentivises such developments, as well as removing rather than creating
barriers to progress. The way in which research is undertaken is changing
rapidly, and technological advancement needs to be accompanied by
cultural change.
A common thread in all of this, and a point that Science Europe stresses
in all its activities, is the need for all science policy to be evidence based
and for the overall objective to be better science for Europe.
Undisputed growth
In Portugal, research and innovation has shown remarkable growth over
the last decades. Between 2003 and 2010, before the financial crisis
that hit Portugal, public expenditure in R&I more than doubled. R&D
intensity (GERD as percentage of Gross Domestic Product) reached a
maximum of 1.6% in 2009 – still below the 3% target set by the Lisbon
Strategy. In 2013, two years into the implementation of the country’s
bailout package from the EU, the European Central Bank and the
International Monetary Fund, the provisional value for R&D intensity in
Portugal was 1.4% of GDP.
A 2013 study carried out by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
(FCT) in Portugal, or the Foundation for Science and Technology,
highlights the effects of the increase in investment in R&D. The major
conclusion of the report is that the Portuguese R&I system is mature,
with the main actors in place.
The country has a strong science base, with the necessary critical mass
in several research fields, in terms of people, research centres and
infrastructure. There has been a 3.3-fold increase in the number of
Seabra worries about
the negative impact
that the Juncker
Investment Plan could
have on Horizon 2020
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