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How can the guidelines feed into the European Research Area?

The CONSIDER findings are relevant for current EU research & innovation policy. The Europe 2020 Strategy set a target to invest 3% of the EU’s GDP in research & innovation by 2020 and also identified specific targets to reduce poverty & social exclusion, raise employment and education levels and tackle climate change. These are all societal challenges where academic researchers and civil society organisations could join forces to build the innovative solutions that Europe needs.

The European Research Area was launched in 2000 and is now anchored in the Treaty of Lisbon. It is a framework for the creation of a single market for knowledge, research and innovation, implying action by the EU, Member States and research institutions. In four of the five priority areas of the ERA, there are implications of the CONSIDER findings:

 ERA priority Implications of CONSIDER guidelines
Maximising resultsThe ERA should promote a rethinking of research excellence to incorporate research relevance to social grand challenges and innovation for social good, in alliance with civil society.
Strengthening cross-border linksThe ERA should ensure that civil society is included in the further development of transnational research agendas through the Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs) and that civil society engagement is recommended in the pursuit of the strategic research agendas.         
Gender equality in research     The ERA could encourage research institutions and national agencies to work with civil society organisations promoting gender equality and other forms of equality.  
Accessing knowledge The ERA should rethink the knowledge triangle (research, business, education) to include civil society organisations and social enterprises in creating knowledge and mobilising it in their social impact work.  

The EU Commission is due to produce an ERA Roadmap by mid-2015 as requested by the EU Council (Competitiveness) in 2014. This will include European-level actions to advance the ERA and guide national actions leading to roadmaps by each Member State. In this context, the implications of the CONSIDER guidelines should be given due attention.