The DFG's Involvement in Europe: Aims and Outlook
© H. Frater
The DFG actively supports the establishment and development of a common European Research Area. It sees its most important role in overcoming the national fragmentation that still exists in the European research landscape by means of close cooperation with its partner organisations in the context of EUROHORCs and through joint funding of international research projects. This is leading to a situation where the European Science Foundation (ESF) is increasingly assuming the role of the executive body for such cooperation. The primary objectives are to ensure increased mobility across Europe, to create consistent quality standards by implementing common peer review processes, and to create joint funding mechanisms. These joint actions by the national funding organisations simultaneously constitute the counterpart to the EU actions under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). In this respect, the newly established European Research Council (ERC), which was created as part of FP7 and is the first pan-European instrument for funding basic research, is of particular importance. This coexistence of strong national funding bodies and a pan-European EU funding instrument represents a unique opportunity for the funding of basic research in Europe. Productive collaboration, balanced between cooperation and competition, will boost the European Research Area, making it more attractive and thus fitter for competition.
Professor Kleiner on the work of EUROHORCs in promoting collaboration and innovation in European research
DFG Position Paper on EU Research Funding
Research funding provided by the European Union plays a considerable part in shaping the scientific landscape in Europe. As the biggest science-driven research funding organisation in Europe, therefore, the DFG considers it its duty to participate in the discussion on the structure of EU research funding. Its goal is to create the best possible conditions for scientific research in Europe. After all, “knowledge” and research are the continent’s most important resources and the basis for technological advances and innovation. The DFG has formulated its position, as well as its expectations and recommendations for the future funding of research and innovation by the EU, in a paper. These relate primarily to three different subject areas: the promotion of early career researchers, different approaches to funding cooperation projects, and the funding of research infrastructures.