Breaking down barriers to research - consultation on the European Research Area

The European Commission has launched a public consultation to find out how the European research environment can be radically improved.

The goal is to achieve the European Research Area (ERA) by 2014, creating a genuine single market for knowledge, research and innovation. This will enable researchers, research institutions and businesses to circulate, compete, and co-operate across borders, increasing growth potential.

The consultation runs until 30 November 2011. Some of the questions the European Commission wants to tackle are:
• are researchers looking for new opportunities, but finding themselves locked behind national borders?
• are scientists in need of new research infrastructures to perform and test ideas?
• does the research community need more opportunities to share views, realise new projects and create new products and services?

The Commission will draw on input received on these and many other questions to finalise its proposal for an enhanced ERA Framework, to be published before the end of 2012. The Framework will optimise the coordination of research funding across Member State borders, improving the efficiency and the impact of European research.

The European Commission has identified the ERA as a prerequisite for a new era of innovation and competitiveness in Europe, with the best brains working together so the European Union becomes an “Innovation Union”.

All those interested in European research and innovation can participate in the consultation at: