Why we need an EU valorisation policy
People expect science to be a driving force that will support the transition towards a greener and fairer society.
Research and innovation will play a crucial role in this transition if excellent research results and data are quickly made available and put to practical use across Europe.
The Council has asked the Commission to develop a strategy to accelerate the potential uptake of research and innovation results and data.
This is why we need a new EU valorisation policy that involves all players.
Factsheet: Making results work for society
What does the policy aim to do?
Its goal is to increase the impact of research and innovation investment.
The policy involves all players and aims to ensure that data, research results and innovation are transformed into sustainable products, processes and services that bring economic value and benefit society.
Guiding principles for knowledge valorisation
On 9 August 2022 the European Commission adopted a proposal for a Council Recommendation on the guiding principles for knowledge valorisation (COM(2022)391 final) with the aim to increase social and economic value from knowledge and transforming data and research results into sustainable products and solutions. The Recommendation will align policy principles and measures for national, regional and local policy makers to maximize the transformation of research and innovation (R&I) results into solutions that benefit society.
The guiding principles for knowledge valorisation will be further supported by two codes of practice on the smart use of intellectual property and for researchers on standardisation to provide hands-on guidance for specific areas of knowledge valorisation.
How to ensure we fully exploit research results?
This policy review is the first milestone in the definition of a European knowledge valorisation strategy. It describes the different means at our disposal to
- improve how we transform research results into new sustainable solutions
- identify and analyse the main channels for the uptake of research and innovation results
- get better at spreading excellent national practices
- highlight best practices from Europe and beyond
Sharing knowledge and the uptake of research and innovation results by society is a key part of the Commission’s proposal to revitalise the European Research Area.
The survey report ‘Towards a Policy Dialogue and Exchange of Best Practices on Knowledge Valorisation' summarises feedback and comments from EU Member States and interested EEA countries on concrete areas for a policy dialogue and exchange of best practices. It also contains a collection of best practices by drawing on the expertise of the participating countries.
We have a created a platform for players across the EU to share their best practices in making the most of research results
Ongoing and planned action focuses on six main channels.
Academia-industry joint research and mobility
Exchange between industry and academia helps academic knowledge and results flow into industry. Likewise, it gives researchers the opportunity to increase their skills and gain a better knowledge of industry needs.
Although many policy instruments are in place to promote long-term science-industry collaborations in Europe – such as grants for collaborative research and public-private partnerships – stronger interaction is needed.
To remain attractive partners in a global context, EU universities and research institutes need to facilitate and improve interaction with industry.
The new report on Testing the feasibility of a new industry-academia knowledge exchange concept focusing on companies’ needs discusses the adaptability of an explorative co-creation method in an industry–academia knowledge exchange context. Based on the empirical evidence of the co-creation experience of five European companies and cross-border student teams, it clearly shows that the co-creation experience is relevant and adds value for all parties.
What the EU is doing
- Contractual public-private partnerships (cPPPs) align public and private investments to speed up the process ‘from Lab to the Fab’
- Future and Emerging Technology – FET Flagships are large-scale research initiatives addressing grand scientific and technological challenges. They aim to turn scientific advances into concrete innovation opportunities, growth and jobs by bringing together academia, industry and SMEs
- Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions – Innovative Training Networks (ITN); Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE); Individual fellowships ‘Society & Enterprise’ Panel - actions supporting mobility and joint research programmes
- Factsheet: Industry-academia collaboration
Research-driven spin-offs and startups
Spin-offs and startups are of key importance, as they offer students or academics an entrepreneurial route to commercialising the knowledge they have developed. Structured access to finance is crucial for these early stage companies.
What the EU is doing
- European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot: identifies next generation technologies from Europe’s strong research base and accelerates their scale-up and market deployment, also through a new form of blended finance combining grants and equity
- European Research Council – Proof of Concept (ERC-POC): funding to cover activities at the very early stage of turning research outputs into a commercial or socially valuable proposition
- Factsheet: The bridging role of academic startups
Intermediaries and knowledge transfer
Intermediary organisations – such as knowledge transfer offices, technology transfer offices, business incubators and science parks – help researchers and innovators commercialise their solutions, products and services.
They are the first contact point for researchers and industry looking for new opportunities. They also promote additional instruments and services to boost the innovation potential of research through networking, mentoring activities, coaching and exchange of best practices.
What the EU is doing
- EIT - Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) are partnerships that bring together businesses, research centres and universities, creating favourable environments for creative thought processes and innovations to flourish
- Horizon 2020 D&E booster is a service providing tailor-made support to disseminate research results and increase exploitation potential and access to market
TTO circle brings together major public research organisations to share best practices, knowledge and expertise, and foster international standards for the professionalization of technology transfer
Citizens and public bodies
Engaging with citizens ensures that new knowledge leads to innovative solutions, and ones that matter to people. Citizen-led solutions have higher societal acceptance and are therefore more effective.
Citizens-led demand for science-based solutions have been a driving force for policymaking – the European Green Deal is a case in point: the Commission pledged “to involve local communities in working towards a more sustainable future, in initiatives that seek to combine societal pull and technology push”.
In order to showcase the ways in which societal actors are engaged to valorise knowledge, the European Commission published a study mapping programmes and initiatives in Research and Innovation valorisation in EU Member States and associated countries.
In Horizon Europe, citizen involvement is expected to intensify.
What the EU is doing
- European Capital of Innovation (iCapital) Award: annual prize awarded to the European city that is best able to demonstrate its ability to harness innovation to improve the lives of its citizens
- Horizon Impact Award: recognises and celebrates societal advancements through research and innovation
- Factsheet: Engaging citizens to accelerate use of research results to benefit all
Intellectual property and standards
An Intellectual Property (IP) framework that is fit-for-purpose ensures the creators of research outputs have a competitive advantage. Good IP management fosters innovation, creativity and knowledge sharing, and improves the chances of knowledge reaching the market and benefiting society.
The valorisation of the IP generated by the European research framework programme enables fair and transparent access to well-being as well as ecological and digital solutions.
The new report on ‘The management and commercialisation of intellectual property in European universities’ explores intellectual property (IP) management practices among universities in the European Union. Based on the empirical evidence gathered, the report presents models and processes of IP management and research commercialisation in universities and their interdependencies.
Standards form a common language that allows researchers, people and industry to communicate, produce and commercialise products and services. This is especially important in the European single market.
Standards are a crucial tool to get the most out of research results. This is because they
- help researchers to bring their innovation to the market by making their results transparent and ensuring high quality
- build consumer trust in innovative technology because they guarantee safety and quality
- codify the technologies requirements and inform both manufacturers and consumers on what to expect
- allow technologies and materials to be interoperable: because a standard provides details on the use and content of a technology or a material, it is much easier to know when and how it can be used in combination with other technologies
What the EU is doing
- The Standardisation Strategy includes R&I as a key element reflecting on the untapped potential in EU funded pre-normative research in supporting future trends in standardisation. The role of Horizon Europe is underlined from the point of view of standardisation, as it entails a strong anticipation of standardisation needs and strong linkages between strategic priorities and pre-normative research
- In order to strengthen the link between standardisation and R&I through the ERA, based on a scoping study, a Code of Practice for researchers on standardisation is currently being developed to provide a set of recommendations on how beneficiaries of public R&I funds can best valorise projects results through standardisation
- The Commission will launch the Standardisation Booster to support researchers under Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe to test the relevance of their results for standardisation
- Manifesto for EU COVID-19 Research: Manifesto to maximise the accessibility of research results in the fight against COVID-19 (extended until 1 January 2023)
- European IPR Helpdesk: Commission service supporting cross-border SME and research activities to manage, disseminate and valorise technologies and other IPRs
- IP Booster: specialised professional IP service for public research organisations to get value from their research results, supported by the Commission
- 2008 recommendation on the management of intellectual property in knowledge transfer activities: published by the Commission aiming to provide guidelines to public research institutions
- Dialogue and consensus-building to develop standards with European Standardisation Organisations like the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) and European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI)
- Factsheet: Intellectual Property fosters innovation and societal impact
- Factsheet: From research to standards
Knowledge dissemination and policy uptake
Ensuring that advances in science and technology are as open as possible is vital in our knowledge-driven world, where data are increasingly valuable and access to data considered a competitive advantage.
Research results such as studies, data, models, experiments and theoretical analyses greatly benefit data-informed policy making. They can help decision-makers better understand the nature of the challenges they face and the possible implications of the decisions they may take.
Factsheet: Sharing knowledge and informing policy
What the EU is doing
- Horizon Results Platform: platform presenting results of Horizon 2020 projects; it allows stakeholders to reach innovators and industry and potentially form fruitful partnerships
- JRC Policy Lab: space designed to foster creativity and engagement, and to develop interactions, processes and tools able to bring innovation into European policymaking
- Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM): mechanism that supports the Commission with high quality and independent scientific advice for its policy-making activities.
- Projects for Policy: an initiative aiming to use research and innovation project results to shape policymaking. Results are used for economic and social activities, as a basis for further research, or to develop new and better products and services
- Knowledge4Policy (K4P): EU Commission’s platform for evidence-based policymaking. Its goal: to bridge the science-policy gap by bringing together evidence for policy from scientists across Europe, to policymakers across Europe. In one single place, you can find up-to-date scientific knowledge developed and curated by European Commission Knowledge Services to inform key EU policies.
The community counts 178 members so far, representing the whole R&I ecosystem