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Coimbra Group consulted on Pact for Research and Innovation

31 May 2021

On 25 May 2021 the Coimbra Group was invited by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Research and Innovation to a stakeholder meeting on the European Research Area (ERA) and more specifically, the future Pact for Research and Innovation.

Together with a number of other umbrella organisations, participants were asked to provide their views on the Research and Innovation (R&I) investment targets proposed in the Commission communication of September 2020 and on their inclusion in the above-mentioned Pact, as well as on the discussions in the ERA Forum for transition regarding the monitoring and implementation of ERA policies.

This meeting is part of a series of consultations that are being held with Member States, as well as stakeholders, in the framework of the Pact for R&I. The Coimbra Group welcomes the opportunity to provide continued input to the ERA Forum for Transition and makes the following plea:

  • Strongly call the European Institutions and member states to put investigator-led and fundamental research at the heart of the ERA, to introduce a priority area on this topic, and to link the ERA effectively to the Higher European Education Area. European investment in fundamental research is crucial for the generation of new knowledge, to improve education and to tackle social, environmental, and economic challenges. The Coimbra Group highlights in particular the need for synergies between ERA’s and Higher European Education Area’s tools and funding programmes;
  • Invite member states to commit sustainable funding for European R&I, including target of public and private efforts, balance between competitive and non-competitive funding. The investment target of 3% of EU GDP dedicated to research and development, as well as the new 1.25% EU GDP public effort target to be achieved by Member States by 2030 (as stated in the Communication on “A new ERA for Research and Innovation”, 2020), are essential to achieve an effective ERA;
  • Reiterate to the European Commission and the member states the added value of including R&I stakeholders in the ERA governance system, and specially in developing and implementing the Pact for R&I in Europe. The R&I stakeholders provide high-quality, collective input from different communities in the R&I system, all necessary to achieve an effective and resilient ERA. Including stakeholders in the development of ERA policies and legislation in a structured and sustained way would help the design and take up of ERA policies.


The next meeting with the European Commission and university associations is going to take place on 22 June 2021.