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Is there a role for charities in the European Research Area?

The general situation of research programs in Europe shows a fragmented picture, the so-called ‘15+1’ scheme, i.e. 15 national programs plus the Framework Program. In this light, the European Commission (EC) proposed the re-organization of European RTD in a European Research Area (ERA). Among the RTD funders, there is also a relatively ‘new’ actor: the charitable sector. Our research highlighted that charities have different characteristics in different countries, from both a legal and a practical point of view. A valuable contribution of this study is also an explanation of what the ERA is intended to be and how the FP relates to it.
The EC proposed to involve charities in the ERA in two of its new building blocks: funding European research infrastructures and helping to stimulate support for research. We proposed that charities might also be interested in having a role in centers of excellence. Our exploratory study found out, by contacting some charities through a questionnaire, that most of the charities are not aware of the ERA project and that the main role they would be interested to have in the ERA is by participating to centers of excellence. This gives rise to some interesting research policy issues, among which the necessity for the EC to publicize its proposal and to consider ways to involve the charities that may be different from the ones proposed at the time.

Mostra/Nascondi contenuto.
4 CHAPTER 1 – INTRODUCTION The seeds of European cooperation in Research and Technological Development (RTD) are to be found in the construction of CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire) in 1952 and in the Euratom (European Atomic Energy Community) Treaty in 1957. By the 1960s, the optimism for the ‘endless frontier’ of science 1 gave way to preoccupations about the increasing technological gap between the USA and Europe. It was the beginning of the ‘national champions’ era, which lasted until the last years of the 1970s. However, the idea of European cooperation in science and technology was still present, as testified by the COST (Cooperation on Science and Technology) program in 1971 and by the creation of the European Space Agency (ESA) in 1973. In the first years of 1980s it became clear that national champions could not keep pace with the US on one side and Japan on the other in the RTD race. It was then that Etienne Davignon, the European Commissioner for Industry (1977-1985), called for a ‘round table’ of the top industries in the electronics field. The outcome was the European Strategic Programme for Information Technology, which started in 1983. Since then a number of communitarian programs in RTD were implemented, arriving to the ‘Framework Programmes’ (FPs), the first of which was launched in 1984. The FP was created with the intention of creating a European strategy in RTD policy, however the outcome has been the so-called ‘15+1’ scheme, meaning that there are 15 national programs plus the European FP, without too much coherence in the interaction between the two parts of the scheme. For this reason, the present situation of RTD in Europe is twofold: on the one hand, there are high-level and world-wide recognized capabilities in a number of scientific fields, on the other, European RTD as a whole is fragmented and falling behind Japan and the USA. In this light, the European Commission (EC) Communication “Towards a European Research Area (ERA)” 2 is intended to be the starting point of a re-organization of the science system at the European level. Moreover, the EC itself has pointed out that financing schemes should involve new actors, combining “funds of national and regional origin, from the European Investment Bank, the Structural Funds, from user companies and from private 1 Bush V., 1945. 2 European Commission, 2000a.

Tesi di Master

Autore: Deborah Sessano Contatta »

Composta da 75 pagine.


Questa tesi ha raggiunto 202 click dal 06/12/2005.


Consultata integralmente 2 volte.

Disponibile in PDF, la consultazione è esclusivamente in formato digitale.