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Research and innovation
News article12 June 2020Directorate-General for Research and Innovation1 min read

High-level expert group advises on a powerful transformative European research and innovation policy in support of the coronavirus recovery

The coronavirus outbreak has been the latest example of the unprecedented challenges and transformations that affect our planet and our people. In their first Policy Brief “Protect, prepare, and transform Europe: Recovery and resilience post Covid-19”, the independent expert group on the Economic and Societal Impact of Research and Innovation (ESIR) provides advice on the transformative research and innovation policy needed to support a more resilient and sustainable Europe.

ESIR postulates that in the post COVID-19 reconstruction phase, research and innovation is critical to “make or break” our future. The group expresses strong backing for the European Green Deal orientation of the recovery and an integrated “people, planet and prosperity” policy agenda. They advocate that creating greater resilience “by design, not by disaster” should be at the core of a coordinated European COVID-19 recovery response. To help deliver on these ambitions, their recommendations explore how to prepare and transform our economic and societal systems to become more resilient to future crises.

ESIR Chair Sandrine Dixson-Declève said:

“We are proud to have contributed to the European Commission’s thinking around a green and social COVID-19 Recovery. The systemic nature of the transformation that is needed bears important consequences for public policy and vice versa: if governments address each new crisis as it arises, with the same growth narrative and perverse incentives that got us here, we will exceed the capacity of public institutions, crisis managers and society at large to cope, jeopardizing our capacity to protect and enhance the quality of life for all Europeans. That is why European research and innovation policies and programmes must be designed to enhance the lives and livelihoods of people and enable resilience across European and global communities to prepare for future shocks and “build back better”.


The Economic and Societal Impact of Research and Innovation (ESIR) group will help to design a forward-looking agenda that enables research and innovation policy to contribute to delivering on the political guidelines of President von der Leyen, notably the ‘European Green Deal’, ‘An economy that works for people’ and ‘A Europe fit for the digital age’. The group will initially run until 31 December 2021.

More information

Economic and Societal Impact of Research and Innovation (ESIR)

ESIR Policy Brief: Protect, prepare, and transform Europe: Recovery and resilience post Covid-19


Publication date
12 June 2020
Directorate-General for Research and Innovation