Position Paper of Priority Area 7: To develop the EUSDR Knowledge Society after 2020
This position paper is the result of the discussion of the PA7 Steering Group members and observers, members of the Danube Funding Coordination Network and Danube INCO.NET project (FP7) held on 26 and 27 June 2017 in Bratislava, Slovakia.
3 years after the 1st major enlargement of the European Union in 2004 many member states are still experiencing difficulties in participating in high-level research cooperation in Europe and in receiving funding from the current EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation “Horizon 2020”. There is a research and innovation divide within Europe and it cuts right through the Danube Region. Since the establishment of the EUSDR, PA 7 members have worked closely together in order to analyse the situation, create new networks and opportunities for regional collaboration (like the Danube Funding Coordination Network) and discuss measures for improvement. A major aim of PA7 is to support the development of research capacities to overcome this divide between up- and downstream countries. To this aim a coordinated use of available funding at all levels is essential as well as increased cross-border cooperation in the Danube Region.
The EUSDR provides a valuable platform for know-how-exchange and – transfer as well as for concrete joint activities and interlinking national, bilateral and multilateral funding instruments. Only a comprehensive approach addressing different levels and instruments of funding will be able to deliver a significant development of research and innovation in the Danube Region in the coming years. But the experience with the implementation of the EUSDR so far shows that it is not sufficient to only better integrate existing funding sources. Additional EU-funding is needed to significantly push research and innovation activities in the Danube Region but also within other Macroregional Strategies. Therefore, the members of the PA 7 steering group call on the European Commission to take into close consideration the aspects stated in the attached position paper on FP9.