ERA Progress Report 2018

In February 2019 the European Commission Directorate-General for Research & Innovation released the ERA Progress Report 2018. This is the fourth iteration of the ERA Progress Report series and was produced in consortium by PPMI and Science-Metrix.

The ERA Progress Report 2018 assesses the current state of the European Research Area (ERA) and the progress made on its implementation in 2016–2018. It marks the second time in a row that progress has been measured at country level using the ERA monitoring mechanism (EMM)—a set of 24 core indicators (including eight headline indicators) jointly defined by Member States, research stakeholders and the European Commission.

ERA implementation focuses on six priorities:

  1. More effective national research systems
  2. Optimal transnational cooperation and competition, including “jointly addressing grand challenges” and “research infrastructures”
  3. An open labour market for researchers
  4. Gender equality and gender mainstreaming in research
  5. Optimal circulation, access to and transfer of scientific knowledge, including “knowledge circulation” and “open access”
  6. International cooperation

The analysis of ERA progress in this study covered the period 2007–2017. Data from all 28 EU Member States and 16 Associated Countries were used to examine progress at the European, regional, country and organizational levels. In addition to analysis of indicators foreseen in the EMM, this report provides an assessment of the implementation progress of the National Action Plans (NAPs) adopted by ERA countries. For the first time, this ERA Progress Report assesses whether 12 ERA countries have delivered on promises made in their NAPs. The evidence base presented in this report is expected to support ongoing policy development and efforts towards the improved implementation of the ERA.

PPMI was the project lead for this contract, and Science-Metrix was responsible for the following tasks.

  • Appraisal of quantitative indicators for the inception report
  • Compiling quantitative data on the ERA headline and complementary indicators for each ERA priority for the interim reports
  • Drafting quantitative parts of all reports for each ERA priority to describe progress in terms of ERA headline and complementary indicators
  • Drafting quantitative parts of the country profiles
  • Preparing the methodological notes on compiling and analyzing ERA headline and complementary indicators for the final report
  • Participating in meetings with the Steering group

The study team found that, based on the overall evolution of the headline indicators, progress on ERA implementation continues, albeit at a slower pace than before. This trend calls for a renewed commitment to (i) further strengthening shared efforts at all levels; (ii) reforming national research and innovation systems; and (iii) realizing a well-functioning ERA. The Commission has anticipated this need by proposing a number of programs for the next financing period, 2021–2027. These include regional funds, a European reform delivery tool, and the EU’s next research and innovation framework programme, Horizon Europe, which includes a dedicated pillar to help strengthen the ERA.

Click here to read the report and access the individual country snapshots.

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