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Making Europe a leading knowledge society through cooperation

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Increasing cooperation and coordination between non-university research-performing organisations is the subject of a study which COWI headed for the European Commission.

DG Research wants to improve knowledge transfer across Europe through the creation of a European Research Area (ERA).

On behalf of DG Research, COWI has developed an overview of 161 key non-university research organisations,counting organisations such as CERN, ESA, the Max Planck Gesellschaft (DE), VTT (FI), and explored similarities and differences among these research performers.

We have also assessed what are perceived as the most important challenges among research-performing organisations (RPOs) to make ERA a reality.

The concept of a European Research Area was endorsed by the European Council in Lisbon in 2000, to ensure an adequate flow of competent researchers, world-class research infrastructure, excellent research institutions, effective knowledge-sharing, well-coordinated research programmes and opening of the ERA to the world.

International team of experts
The study team included COWI consultants and external experts from the Danish Centre for Studies in Research and IDEA Consult, a Belgian consultancy team, and member of the ECORYS Group.

The team carried out a literature study, an e-survey of present and future challenges, interviewed a number of large RPOs, and created a database of RPOs in Europe. Workshops were held in Brussels for 40 RPOs to discuss and validate the results of the analysis.

Knowing the stakeholders Findings show that the RPOs wish to utilise globalisation, attract the best researchers, be heard and recognised, and that they see the role of the European Commission as that of coordinator rather than as a driver of research.

Creating a common platform and interface for European RPOs is one of the more tangible recommendations of the study.

The study has resulted in the Commission knowing their stakeholders, and the Commission can now take action to improve coordination and cooperation among research-performing organisations.

LAST UPDATED: 03.11.2017