Recommendations for the optimal implementation of Horizon 2020; Impact as driver for serious funding

See on Scoop.itDual impact of research; towards the impactelligent university

The Copenhagen Research Forum (CRF) has published a report on how best to govern Horizon 2020 and to support excellent research and innovation. Researchers should play a central role in advisory committees in order to adopt a strategic approach to the societal challenges of Horizon 2020.


The report aims to bring together the scientific community and the European Commission in a constructive, open dialogue on the key issue concerning the governance of Horizon 2020 and to elaborate on the central role of researchers in Horizon 2020.


Recommendations on Horizon 2020
The CRF suggests recommendations for the optimal implementation of Horizon 2020, such as:


Researchers should play an important role as advisers in committees. This would include researchers being involved in the short and long-term planning of Horizon 2020 research themes and to give input to the structure and organisation of programmes.Horizon should have flexible roadmaps for each societal challenge, thus leading the way for broader topics within each challenge.Horizon 2020 calls should be broad and flexible challenge-oriented calls offering a broad platform for researchers where they can contribute with their specific ideas to solving the challenges.Horizon 2020 should focus more on output management and less on input control.A fair monitoring and evaluation system should be put into place that focuses on outputs to match the new modes of cross-disciplinary collaboration.With regard to the European Research Area (ERA), duplication has to be avoided and overlap of research and innovation activities in Europe. Therefore the CRF panel warns that too many initiatives and partnering schemes could lead to counterproductive results.


Stronger links between research and higher education is strongly encouraged with researchers not just focusing on publications but also interacting in networks of people which is seen as vital in increasing the human flow in research and in stimulating innovation processes.


Excellence, implementation and impact


With respect to the optimal implementation of Horizon 2020, the CRF recognises excellence ‘as the driver of all good research’ and recommends that excellence be used as the criteria for the selection of activities funded throughout the entire Horizon 2020 programme, including the societal challenges. However it also mentions that quality of implementation and impact are important criteria in evaluation processes. It recommends ‘a simplified funding scheme’ and a ‘more trust based culture’ between the funder and the recipient would significantly reduce bureaucracy and would make it much easier for both academia and industry to understand and manage future projects.



Horizon 2020 should leave all researchers aware of their
responsibility for ensuring that every research project aimed at solving
the societal challenges has a clear impact of value for society as
a whole. In many cases this impact should be visible in terms of
economic growth and job creation achieved through commercialisation.


Timely collaboration with industry, in particular Small
and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), should be enhanced in
strategic research. Great value for society, however, can also be
gained through the production of state-of-the-art knowledge
applicable to the formulation of future roadmaps and topics
securing firm evidence for future research and political decision
making. Impact in Horizon 2020 should therefore be measured
in terms of transferability of knowledge and technologies.



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About Wilfred Mijnhardt
RMIMR is my virtual playground, a place to reflect on issues from my professional context, my job as Policy Director at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). RSM is the international university based business school at Erasmus University Rotterdam. More info here: Here is my list of relevant publications on the topic of my RMIMR weblog: The rss feed for my RMIMR collection is here: Here is my other weblog on impact of research:

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