The Estonian Presidency conference 'European Research Excellence – Impact and Value for Society' held in Tallinn on 12 October brought together high level experts to discuss the value of research, and to build a case for investing in research and innovation with the final goal of strengthening the political commitment for ambitious long-term public investment in European research and innovation need to increase the impact of research.
Estonia’s Prime Minister Jüri Ratas handed over the Tallinn Call for Action 2017 with the aim of ensuring broad public trust towards research, as well as political commitments for increasing research and innovation funding. It outlines the role and responsibilities of stakeholders in increasing investments, trust and the impact of research.
Support for Estonian science
“In the framework of current negotiations over the next EU programming period, the Tallinn Call for Action (PDF) – preceded by broad international consultation – provides an ideal basis for increasing research funding,” said Estonian Minister of Education and Research Mailis Reps. “As the holders of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, we work hard to make the messages of the Tallinn Call for Action heard in EU policy making,” assured Minister Reps.
The Tallinn Call for Action stresses the responsibility of policy makers, researchers, businesses and journalists in ensuring that research is a real priority in EU policy making, and increasing trust in research. The document calls for both the EU and national governments to increase expenditure in research and underlines the responsibility of politicians and businesses to ensure the required investments in research and innovation.
The Tallinn Call– a message for Europe
“The Estonian Government’s decision to increase investments to research and innovation sets a great example, as it has been decided that budget allocations for research and development shall increase in 2018 by 11% and they are estimated to reach 0.8% of Estonian GDP that is above the EU average,” Minister Reps said.
Researchers should be more active in communicating the impact of their results in order to build confidence in research and researchers to the general public. Their expertise and scientific advice should be made to be heard by policy makers and businesses.
Universities and research institutions need to actively promote excellent research and innovation ecosystems that support co-creation, interdisciplinary collaboration and knowledge exchange, and encourage the mobility and career development of researchers. Therefore, increased and more stable funding should be guaranteed for universities and research institutions.