The Young European Research Universities Network (YERUN) warmly welcomes the publication of the Communication “A New ERA for Research and Innovation” and believes in its potential to push the European Research Area forward. In particular, YERUN strongly supports the European Commission’s will to: strengthen the national investments in R&I; further promote Open Science practices; promote diversity and inclusiveness; engage citizens, local communities and civil society; increase the cooperation between higher education and research; and strengthen synergies between EU programmes, including Horizon Europe, Erasmus, European Social Fund Plus (ESF+), European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and private investments.
While acknowledging the excellent starting points laid out in the Communication in reaching the ERA’s strategic objectives, YERUN also calls on policy-makers to take into account the following aspects:
1) providing adequate funding for universities with a specific focus on adequate operating means;
2) achieving complementarity in design and objectives of EU support schemes;
3) supporting excellence across Europe in a horizontal manner, focusing on all countries and regions and adopting an inclusive perspective;
4) accompanying the update of the Guiding Principles for Knowledge Valorisation with a proper consultation with stakeholders and thorough implementation mechanisms;
5) further improving career opportunities for researchers.
A coordinated action among the European Commission, Member States, and the research and innovation stakeholder community is fundamental. As representatives of young research universities, we reaffirm our commitment to continue taking part in this co-creation exercise and call on EU policymakers to take into account the above-mentioned recommendations in implementing the new ERA.