Increased efforts in three areas
UiB calls for increased research and innovation efforts in three areas over the next three years:
- Democracy, cultural heritage, and history
- Climate, ocean, and coast, including research on the consequences of an ice-free Arctic. UiB and NORCE have also provided recommendations on coastal and Arctic ocean research in the joint position paper “Making the Green Wave Blue”.
Basic research in Pillar I and II
UiB is a strong supporter of the ERC and the basic research carried out with funding from Pillar I in Horizon Europe.
"We will continue to give our support to a strong, independent ERC. There will be discussions about the budget of Horizon Europe in the coming years. In this context it is important that the voice of the universities is heard, and to give support to the actors fighting for a strong budget for the ERC", Rector Margareth Hagen comments.
In addition, UiB recommends that collaborative basic research projects be included in Pillar II (the Pillar addressing global challenges).
"To find sustainable solutions to the diverse challenges we face, there is a need for basic research, to obtain a better understanding of complex systems and processes, e.g., in global climate systems, ecosystems, and the human body", Hagen says.
"We encourage the EU to clearly acknowledge the importance of basic research for our ability to deal with challenges for example related to climate change, healthy oceans, pollution, loss of biodiversity, health risks, the need for better medical treatments or the need for more renewable energy", she adds.
Focus on Legal research
UiB also emphasizes the importance of legal research, recommending a strengthened focus on legal research in the next period of Horizon Europe.
"Legal perspectives are central in societal and political developments", Vice Rector for Research and International Relations Benedicte Carlsen says.
"This is the case for example in complex issues such as climate and energy policies, security, artificial intelligence, digital markets, health data and services, common use of coastal ocean areas, and sustainable use of natural resources", says Carlsen.
Innovation more broadly defined
UiB encourages a broader understanding of innovation, in line with the New European Innovation Agenda (NEIA), and recommends that innovation funding is applied more equally to the technology and the arts, humanities and legal studies, social sciences, and health research. In addition, UiB calls for more funding for social innovation projects.
UiB’s input to the open consultations
The EU is currently carrying out three large open consultations on its research and innovation programmes:
- Final evaluation of Horizon 2020, which ended in 2020
- Interim evaluation of Horizon Europe
- The new Strategic Plan for Horizon Europe 2025-2027
"All responses to the consultations are read, and participating in these consultations gives UiB an opportunity to influence the next Strategic Plan for Horizon Europe, and thereby priorities for future calls. Giving input in the form of a position paper is also a way of making UiB visible as a research institution in Europe, and of gaining support for our views from other research and innovation actors on the European scene", Hagen concludes.