The VERA stakeholder debates have come at a time when we are seeking renewed momentum to help Europe out of the crisis and tackle the grand challenges through an improved ERA. They offer a great opportunity to step back and re-think the very purpose, form and ambition of ERA. In the ERA Open Advice Report (Popper et al. 2015b), we have captured the essence of ERA stakeholders’ views on rethinking ERA priorities and broadening the agenda. Overall, three key messages and a considerable number of policy issues have emerged: First, the existing ERA priorities are of great importance and should be pursued further. Second, however, there is concern that the definition of these priorities is too narrow and not flexible enough and must be re-visited. Third, and even more important, the debate has led to the identification of new ERA dimensions that have not been captured in the ERA discourse so far, but which deserve more policy attention and should be integrated into the evolving dimensions of the European R&I landscape.
- Boosting research and innovation synergies
- Strengthening the global influence of ERA
- Promoting smart R&I evaluation
- Improving the governance of the EU R&I system
- Fostering relevant science-society engagement
- Developing attractive and impactful research careers
- Supporting knowledge co-creation and sharing
- Achieving gender equality and social inclusion in R&I
- Reinforcing ERA regional and local outreach
These nine ERA dimensions constitute the first level of ERA Open Advice. A full and contextualised description of ERA dimensions, ERA key aspects and ERA key actions is provided in the report.