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The primary focus here should be on the complementarity of the various financial instruments (Research Framework Programme, Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme, Structural Funds, etc.).This is particularly true in instances where mixed financing from EU funds would prove useful, but has been impossible or, at best, extremely difficult due to legal reasons or conflicting regulations.Nunc scelerisque urna mollis neque tristique rutrum. Donec leo nisi, porttitor et rhoncus vitae, dictum vitae arcu.
As such, the Executive Board of the German Rectors' Conference (HRK) most recently submitted a comprehensive position paper on the structure of the next Research Framework Programme on 6 January 2011.
With this opinion paper, the HRK is taking part in the consultation process for the European Commission's Green Paper "Towards a Common Strategic Framework for EU Research and Innovation Funding" on behalf of its 264 member institutions. How should the Common Strategic Framework make EU research and innovation funding more attractive and easy to access for participants?
Co-financing requirements are seen by the higher education institutions as placing them at a considerable disadvantage, as they are mostly public - and often under-funded - research institutions.
These requirements should not be extended to research funding programmes other than the COFUND scheme that is part of the "FP7 People Programme". How should EU research and innovation funding best be used to pool Member States resources?
Any funding in form of grants that extend beyond these areas must remain the absolute exception, and must also, without exception, comply with the legal requirements of Community Law (EU state aid framework) and the EU's international obligations - particularly those resulting from WTO rules.
Funding in the "competitive" area closer to the markets themselves, which is currently being discussed at the European level, should be carried out through credit-based financing mechanisms or instruments that target the demand side such as public procurement policies or technology standardization.
This has been the case, for example, with any attempt at combining funding from Structural Funds, such as the European Social Fund (ESF) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), with each other or with funds from the Research Framework Programme. How should EU funding best cover the full innovation cycle from research to market uptake?
The principle of "pre-competitive" funding for research and development, as well as innovation, should be preserved.
An expansion of JP from the current 10 themes to additional research areas should only be considered once joint programme planning has proven to be helpful for the coordination of national and European funding.
This also applies to the creation of major European research alliances such as the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA).