Global investments in R&D have doubled over the last ten years. The landscape is rapidly changing with a pivotal shift towards Asia. This will have an impact on European competitiveness and, in the long run, on future growth and jobs.
The EU framework programme for research and innovation is one important answer to the challenge and must be at the core of the EU policy for future growth. With a ninth programme under way, it is important to draw on the experiences from the current programme, which is now nearing its end.
In this report, the view of Swedish companies on Horizon 2020 is presented. The investigation shows both the positive impact and importance of the EU research programmes, but also challenges and deterrents that should be addressed in the upcoming programme FP9.
The overall conclusion is that Swedish companies have a very positive view of H2020 in general and believe that it plays an important role in stimulating investments in R&D and innovation, and contributes to strengthening their competitiveness.
H2020 provides large companies with an arena for international cooperation along the value chain and with leading R&D partners, and they consider participation to be of high strategic importance. At the same time, H2020 gives smaller companies opportunities to expand by stimulating investments in R&D and innovation, establishing or expanding international networks of partners and potential clients. These are just a few examples of the benefits that H2020 brings to participants from the private sector.
The study also shows that companies’ H2020 participation is limited by the internal resources, mainly R&D and administrative personnel. There is also evidence to suggest that some companies could participate more if relevant calls were easier to identify and the rules for participation were simpler. In addition, many companies are deterred from H2020 participation because of a demanding proposal process (in combination with low success rates).
Despite the EC’s efforts to reduce administration in H2020 compared to previous FPs, many companies still view burdensome project administration as a strong deterrent.