In order to be able to complete the ERA, tackle the common major societal challenges and restore EU industrial leadership, a number of obstacles still need to be overcome. It is particularly crucial to pool national research efforts and resources in transnational initiatives at European level. However, less than 1 % of national public funding for scientific research and development (R&D) is spent on transnational projects. In general, EU Member States’ funding for scientific R&D has increased only marginally as a share of their gross domestic product (GDP) in recent years, from 1.81 % in 2002 to 1.95 % in 2014. Indeed, this runs against the ‘Barcelona target’, set by the European Council in 2002 to increase investment in scientific R&D to 3 % of GDP in EU Member States (one third of funding from governments and two thirds from business). The aim is to catch up with countries, such as the US and Japan, with high levels of scientific R&D expenditure. According to recent data, however, EU combined expenditure in scientific R&D is still lagging behind the US and Japan. Moreover, the EU has now been overtaken by China.
In order to be able to complete the ERA, tackle the common major societal challenges and restore EU industrial leadership,…
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