EU research prioritiesClimate change, energy, health and SMEs will form the centre of European Commission proposals for research funding within the new Common Strategic Framework (CSF).
The CSF will follow on from the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) after it expires in 2013, but the new funding pool will be the subject of heated debate as the Commission mulls over a White Paper to be released later this year. The White Paper will outline how the research budget should be allocated under the new programme, which will roll together several existing structural and cohesion funding mechanisms under a common umbrella. Officials said that a new innovation competitiveness report issued by the EU executive, highlighted the direction that the Commission would take on the CSF.
The report found that education systems needed to be adapted to business innovation needs, SMEs needed more encouragement, and that more research was needed to tackle climate change and to reduce the gender gap in science.
More than half of EU27 enterprises are innovative
In the EU27, 52% of enterprises from industry and services reported innovation activity between 2006 and 2008. Among the EU27 Member States, the highest proportions of enterprises with innovation activity in this period were recorded in Germany (80% of enterprises), Luxembourg (65%), Belgium and Portugal (both 58%) and Ireland (57%). The lowest rates were observed in Latvia (24%), Poland (28%), Hungary (29%), Lithuania (30%) and Bulgaria (31%).
This information, which comes from the Community Innovation Survey 2008, covering the EU27 Member States, Norway and Croatia, is published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. The survey contains a broad set of indicators on innovation activities of enterprises and provides for the first time information on innovation with environmental benefits.