During its December 2022 meeting, the European Council adopted the conclusions on the new European Innovation Agenda and research infrastructures. As said by Vladimír Balaš, Czech Minister for Education, Youth and Sport, “The recent crises have shown the need for the EU to support an open strategic autonomy in order to curb the dependencies and vulnerabilities that affect our industry. We have to strengthen the EU’s own capacity in strategic areas. This will not be possible without ambitious investments in innovation”.
The green and digital objectives remain the main drivers of the new innovation agenda, as they play an essential role in addressing current societal challenges and in positioning the EU as a global leader in innovation. But there are many challenges as a consequence of the geo-political context. Deep tech innovation, new financial models for funding programmes and initiatives, and the attractiveness for new institutional investors are just some key area of intervention set forth by the Agenda. Measures to improve the regulatory innovation environment are also envisaged, including a call to develop a common policy agenda to advance the coordination of innovation policies.
The network of European research infrastructures is an important feature supporting the development of the European Research Area (ERA). The Council’s conclusion supports a further strengthening of the network as a way to better conduct research and foster innovation. RI’s facilities include computer systems, archives or scientific data infrastructures, and sets of instruments, which should be easily accessible to scientists and innovators in order to boost technological advancement and breakthrough innovations. Improved preparedness and the resilience of European society to EU’s socioeconomic crises, a better support to regional development and the contribution provided to scientific diplomacy and international cooperation are also considered. The Council also invited the Commission and the member states to publish the new edition of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) Roadmap before the end of 2025.