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Project 2. Setting national and supranational research agendas

I. General purpose
The purpose of this project is to participate in the development of national and supranational research agendas in the area of the socio-economic sciences through contacts with international and national decision makers.

II. Main activities
The core activities of this project are

  • to identify issues of high importance for the development of the future European society which will benefit from the results of socio-economic research,
  • to engage in debate with relevant audiences about the choice of these issues and to explain how the socio-economic sciences can contribute to their solution,
  • to contribute to the development of proposals for relevant national and supranational research programmes
  • to make recommendations as to the kind of instruments which should be used in such programmes.
III. Target groups
The project addresses individuals and groups who have responsibility for (future) research agendas, both national and supranational. The target group includes national and international stakeholders / decision makers / opinion leaders, such as
  • members of governments (European Commissioners, national Ministers)
  • politicians (members of the European Parliament as well as national parliaments)
  • CEO's of enterprises and not-for-profit organisations
  • top civil servants (Secretary-Generals, Director-Generals) members of the research community,
IV. Activities
(a) Selection of themes
We will establish a list of issues of high importance for the development of the future of Europe for which we think action is needed. Such themes could include themes which are already part of current EC activity plans as well themes which need to be included in future plans (e.g. FP 8). The aim of the first category is to influence the implementation of current EC activity plans, e.g. via mid-term reviews.
Possible themes include governance, regulation, business development, sustainable development, cultural diversity, demographic challenges (ageing, health and care) and economic and social dimensions of income, equality, and labour markets.

(b) Network seminars
RISE will organize a number of seminars in Brussels about the future European research agenda, for which representatives from the target groups are invited, on topics chosen by the network itself. RISE will ask highly recognized academics to take academic responsibility for the organisation of a seminar or series of seminars. The organisation will be in the hands of those members of the network who are the most likely candidates on the basis of their expertise in the field which the seminar addresses. The timing of such seminars will be related to actual developments in Brussels (e.g. forthcoming calls, expert meetings).

(c) Participation in EC activities
The European Commission organizes seminars on topical issues on the basis of its own research agenda. RISE will participate actively in these by sending strong academic delegations.
Also, the European Commission establishes high level expert groups in fields chosen on the basis of its own research agenda. Such expert groups have the task to provide forecasts, usually with a time frame of 5 to 10 years. The results of such forecasts will be input for the mid-term review of the 7th Framework Programme or for the development of the 8th Framework Programme. RISE aims to participate in such expert groups or be in contact with members of such groups.

The project is coordinated by Tilburg University. For further information, please contact:

Professor Ton Wilthagen
E-mail: wilthagen@uvt.nl
Tel: +31 13 466 2473

Marieke Schoots
E-mail: marieke.schoots@uvt.nl
Tel: +31 13 466 2274

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