Statsstøtte til forskning av innovasjon: midtveisevaluering av retningslinjene

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Commission Staff Working Paper: Mid-Term Review of the R&D&I Framework

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Arbeidsdokument fra Kommisjonen lagt fram 10.8.2011

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BAKGRUNN (fra Kommisjonens arbeidsdokument, engelsk utgave)

Promoting Research and Development and Innovation (hereafter "R&D&I") is an important objective of common interest.

The Europe 2020 strategy puts R&D&I at its heart with the objective of achieving an overall R&D spending of 3% of the GDP. In particular, the Commission Communication "EU 2020" indicates that there is a clear need to improve the conditions for private R&D in the EU. The R&D spending in Europe is below 2%, compared to 2.6% in the US and 3.4% in Japan, mainly as a result of lower levels of private investment.

The "Innovation Union" is one of the seven flagships announced in the Europe 2020 Strategy. It aims at improving conditions and access to finance for research and innovation, to ensure that innovative ideas can be turned into products and services that create growth and jobs. At the same time, it underlines the need for behavioural changes which are needed to tackle the major societal challenges (such as climate change) and strengthening our leadership in key technologies.

The Community Framework for State aid for Research and Development and Innovation (hereafter the "R&D&I Framework") [1] set out the conditions Member States should respect when granting aid to promote R&D&I.

The current R&D&I Framework is in force since 1 January 2007. Most of its provisions have been included in the General Block Exemption Regulation [2] (GBER) which entered into force in August 2008.

Although the R&D&I Framework will be applicable until 31 December 2013, it foresees a mid-term review three years after its entry into force.

In this context, it should be noted that the current rules were designed to cover more than just technological R&D&I. Therefore, they do not prevent or hinder support in favour of new and emerging forms of R&D&I activities.

The present mid-term review should be seen as an opportunity to take stock of the application of the R&D&I Framework and start reflecting on the contribution of the R&D&I State aid rules to the EU innovation goals in order to further promote private investment in R&D, smarter public investment and overall innovation.

In the following, the experience developed so far has been reviewed and a number of issues that have arisen have been addressed with a view to providing Member States businesses and other stakeholders with greater clarity on the application of the present rules. The document also identifies possible practical adjustments to be considered for the revision of the Framework in 2013. In parallel, a broader reflection will be launched on the future R&D&I State aid policy, including on wider and more substantive issues such as aid effectiveness, architecture and proportionality of the rules, enforcement, innovative financial instruments and other amendments to support the Commission policy in addressing impediments (structural or otherwise) that are hindering improvements in the EU's research and innovation performance. To this effect a public questionnaire will be addressed to Member States and stakeholders after the summer.

1 Official Journal C 323, 30.12.2006, p. 1.
2 Official Journal L 214, 9.8.2008, p. 3.

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Dato
10.08.2011