Exploring the performance gap in EU Framework Programmes between EU13 and EU15 Member States

In-Depth Analysis 17-06-2020

The European Union (EU)'s Research and Innovation Framework Programmes are the largest programmes for international research collaboration worldwide. Repeated reports point to the issue of underperformance in the Framework Programmes by the EU13 Member States - countries that joined the EU in and after 2004 - in comparison with the EU15 Member States - which entered the EU before 2004. This in-depth analysis explores the background of various challenges in research and development of EU13 vs EU15, in order to investigate the gap between these two groups. A set of hypotheses, divided in five domains, are tested empirically. This includes: research and innovation system structure; scientific level of research institutions and quality of proposals; quantity of submitted proposals; level of international collaboration; and other factors related to the Framework Programmes. The weak positions of most EU13 Member States for several of the indicators analysed, show that the field of research in EU13 Member States requires further structural changes. This report is followed by policy options for mitigating the innovation gap in Europe.

External author

DG, EPRS-This document presents an update of the STOA study 'Overcoming innovation gaps in the EU-13 Member States'. The study was requested by the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) and managed by the Scientific Foresight Unit (STOA) within the Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (DG EPRS) of the European Parliament. Members of the project team were: Michal Pazour, Vladimir Albrecht, Daniel Frank, Vlastimil Ruzicka, Jiri Vanecek, Ondrej Pecha, Zdenek Kucera, Technology Centre CAS, Prague; Edwin Horlings, Barend van der Meulen, Rathenau Institute, The Hague; Leonhard Hennen (ETAG co-ordinator), KIT/ITAS, Karlsruhe. In addition, hypothesis 6 discussed in the present report is obtained from the STOA study ‘Internationalisation of EU research organisations: A bibliometric stocktaking study’, written by Marek Kwiek, Director of the Center for Public Policy Studies, UNESCO Chair in Institutional Research and Higher Education Policy at the University of Poznan, Poland.