The bargain comes with strings attached, however
The Knowledge Valorisation Platform wants to address the disparity between policy and science
At the plenary session on the second day of European Research and Innovation Days 2021 titled “The new ERA: put in motion” European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel unveiled the new Knowledge Valorisation Platform, whose purpose is to connect researchers and policymakers across the continent and to help bring research into the real world in an impactful way.
The platform is the logical step forward after the EU Knowledge Valorisation Week 2021, an event held last April. The hopes are that it will mitigate the disparity between the implementation of new research and policy.
People expect policy to be driven by science
This is a point that has been stressed again and again throughout the Research and Innovation Days 2021 by a majority of the speakers. It highlights a couple of key shortcomings:
- Industry, which is not supported by research and innovation (R&I), tends to lag behind its competitors;
- Policy not supported by research tends to miss the point of the issue it is trying to address.
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.
This is why this platform is so welcomed. The European Commission has developed a strategy to accelerate the potential uptake of R&I results and data, thus increasing its impact.
Who is it for? What will it do?
The point of the platform is to create a digital space where researchers, policymakers and stakeholders can interact, share and implement ideas.
The point is to develop a pan-European R&I ecosystem cataloguing the best practices and solutions that have been or could be implemented.
And because the platform is very open, the reasoning goes that this will make access to research easier, thus streamlining academic innovations and their implementation in real life.
This is a very welcomed development in light of recent developments, as R&I has been absolutely crucial for dealing with the pandemic. It will be no less important in the coming years as the EU is pushing for a digital transformation trying to become the first carbon-neutral continent.
Simona Kustec, the Minister of Education, Science and Sport of the Republic of Slovenia, also spoke at the session, just before the unveiling of the new platform.
Her statement touched on some of the same topics, laying out some of the priorities of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which is about to start on 1 July 2021. These are:
- Putting knowledge at the centre of policy;
- Coordinating actions, resources and mobilising people in a sustainable infrastructure that can provide not only investment but a collaborative community;
- Developing methods of equal interaction between lawmakers, stakeholders and all other parties, to counter any and all discrimination.
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