"We at Science Europe know that forging a common vision across very diverse countries can be a challenge, stated Amanda Crowfoot, Director of Science Europe, "but, like ERAC, we also believe in the power of collaboration."
With the Roadmap the EU Member States and associated countries take a leading role in ERA implementation, and affirm that the diversity of national research and innovation systems does not prompt for one-size-fits-all policy approaches.
Science Europe commends the approach chosen by ERAC of identifying a limited set of areas to focus attention and set objectives. Science Europe chose the same approach in 2013 when it released its strategic plan, the Science Europe Roadmap.
The ERA and Science Europe Roadmaps comprise five overlapping policy areas, and present clear opportunities for information exchange and collaboration between ERAC and Science Europe.
There are many areas where the complementarity between European and national policy needs to be more deeply explored and defined. With regards to Joint Programming (Priority 2A) for instance, the action identified by ERAC in the ERA Roadmap is "Improving alignment within and across the Joint Programming Process and the resulting initiatives ... and speeding up their implementation". The Members of Science Europe, collectively, have extensive experience with the implementation of Joint Programming, and Science Europe will be releasing in June a Position Statement on the matter, to start a dialogue on the future of JPIs.
In terms of Research Infrastructures (Priority 2B), the ERA Roadmap calls for "Making optimal use of public investments in RIs by setting national priorities compatible with the ESFRI priorities and criteria taking full account of long term sustainability". Science Europe has long called for improving the compatibility between ESFRI-related goals and the needs to serve national and regional infrastructural needs.
The ERA Roadmap is a great opportunity to update the priorities set out in the 2012 ERA Communication, and to ensure that European goals for national research policy are adapted to new and evolving needs.
Professor Miguel Seabra, President of Science Europe, noted: "The ERA Roadmap is presented as a 'living' document, this is a major asset because policy needs to be able to evolve constantly, and our understanding of what works and what doesn't also improves over time. At Science Europe, we hope that the synergies between the Roadmap of national ministries and the Roadmap of national research agencies will be fully exploited to a mutual benefit."