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F8. Launch open calls for CSO-driven research

In some cases research that is of specific interest to segments of society is likely to be more successful if driven by CSOs. While researchers are the experts in how to undertake the research they often lack a detailed understanding of the social need that drives the research. In order to avoid an inappropriate focus on the technical details, it can be helpful to allow CSOs to drive the research. In the Horizon 2020 programme this is most obviously relevant to research focused on societal challenges. However, even in this programme the research calls are very specific and may not meet newly emerging societal needs or the wider interests of the CSOs.

One way to overcome this problem would be to have open calls specifically aimed at societal issues not covered by existing work programmes. An analogy at the European level is the European Research Council which does not have a work programme but uses scientific excellence as its sole evaluation criterion. A similar institution using societal impact as its main evaluation criterion could play the role of opening up research to societal needs driven by CSOs.

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