CESAER has published a statement contributing to the ongoing debate on Innovation Infrastructures and how to support them through European, national and regional funding programmes.
Although Research Infrastructures and Innovation Infrastructures superficially might appear different things, the same physical resource often can be used for different purposes depending on the needs of the user.
Innovation Infrastructures have the highest added value when effectively involving partnerships between universities, Research and Technology Organisations (RTOs), business, industry, public services and society at large. Therefore, funding schemes must not lead to competition between universities and RTOs, but inspire good dialogue, bottom-up collaboration, partnerships and alliances between universities, RTOs, business, industry and local and regional governments with complementary competences and roles.
Essentially, funding for Innovation Infrastructures from the 9th EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (FP9) should be provided for activities - such as access to Innovation Infrastructures - and costing sorts, but not into building them. It is crucial to assure alignment and complementarity of the next EU funding programmes, notably FP9 and European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). Funding for education and training must not be forgotten and left to university funds as universities have a different role from RTOs, particularly in educating and training (young) talent - including vocational.