Europe’s global approach to Research and Innovation

Europe’s global approach to Research and Innovation
19 May 2021

On May 18, the European Commission adopted a Communication on its Global Approach to Research and Innovation. The Global Approach to Research and Innovation (R&I) constitutes the Commission's perspective for Europe's strategy on international cooperation in research and innovation. With this new strategy, the EU aims at taking a leading role in supporting international research and innovation partnerships and in delivering innovative solutions to green, digital, health and innovation challenges.

The global approach to research and innovation reconfirms Europe's commitment to a level of global openness needed to drive excellence, pool resources to achieve scientific progress and develop vibrant innovation ecosystems. To achieve this goal, the EU will work with international partners to create a common understanding of fundamental principles and values in research and innovation, such as academic freedom, gender equality, research ethics, open science and evidence-based policymaking.

In particular, the new strategy builds on two principal objectives. First, it aims for a research and innovation environment that is based on rules and values, and it is also open by default, to help researchers and innovators around the world work together in multilateral partnerships and find solutions to global challenges. Second, it aims to ensure reciprocity and a level-playing field in international cooperation in research and innovation.

In view of this goal, close coordination and cooperation between the EU and its Member States will be key. The Commission will promote initiatives modelled on a ‘Team Europe' approach, which combines together the efforts of the EU, the Member States and European financial institutions. 

Last but not least, the new Horizon Europe program will play a key role. Reaffirming the EU's commitment to global openness, Horizon Europe, in continuity with its predecessor, Horizon 2020, will remain open to the participation of researchers and innovators from all over the world, including through a significant number of calls for proposals relevant for international cooperation. The Horizon Europe programme is the largest public-funded programme in research and innovation internationally and will remain open as a rule.  The association of non-EU countries to Horizon Europe will offer additional opportunities to participate in the overall programme with generally the same conditions as those of the Member States. In fact – and this constitutes a key novelty in Horizon Europe - the association will be offered also to countries located anywhere in the world that share European values and have a strong science, technology and innovation profile. Synergies with other EU programmes such as the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument - Global Europe will be central as well.


Image © European Commission, 2021


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