Financing Of Research And Innovation In Europe’S Universities
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Financing Of Research And Innovation In Europe’S Universities






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Financing Of Research And Innovation In Europe’S Universities Financing Of Research And Innovation In Europe’S Universities Presentation Transcript

  • Financing of Research and Innovation in Europe’s Universities An EUA study funded by the European Commission, DG Research Principal researchers: Bernadette Conraths and Hanne Smidt Sodergard EUA workshop Research Management, Barcelona, 18-19 June 2004
  • Aims of the study
    • Provide an overview on main trends and developments in the financing of research and innovation in European universities, key players in the creation of a European Research Area (ERA)
    • Focus on institutional issues and concerns which have been less researched up to now
    • Present key findings to the EU Conference in Liège:
    • « The Europe of Knowledge 2020: A vision for university-based research and innovation »
    • (25-28 April 2004)
  • Our methodology
    • Four steps:
    • Stocktaking
    • Questionnaires to National Rectors Conferences (enlarged EU + CH, N, Iceland) on national context
    • Survey of research oriented universities
    • 42 sent, 39 returned, from 23 countries
    • Areas covered: governance, strategy, funding and sources, allocation and expenditure, innovation, policies, priorities, management, staff, expectations;
    • Follow-up interviews with 19 universities with focus on governance, management, innovation and culture change
  • The Good News...
    • The high response,in a tight time frame, indicates
    • the high importance of the subject to the institutions
    • their great readiness to collaborate
    • and to contribute to the European level debate
    • Common denominators: state of flux and change !
  • Major Challenges (in guise of bad news...)
    • Diversity
    • A vast variety of systems, differing from country to country, region to region, institution to institution
    • Data
    • lack, incompatibility, fragmentation and major variances
    • Terminology
    • Language and definitions
    • i.e. Funding sources, funding types, basic vs. applied research, innovation...
  • Main (interrelated) change drivers
    • More competitive grant funding
    • (due to stagnating or shrinking government/public funds)
    • The gradual granting of more autonomy to HE institutions accompanied by the pressure to diversify funding sources
    • The steering of public research agendas through specific programmes
  • Financial issues, cont.
    • Relatively little overall change on average in the total income from main sources (public/ government, business, international, 1995-2001)
    • Relatively stable government income, higher income from of other sources, but also high volatility
    • Significant increases in institutional R&I expenditure
    • Factors of highest impact in the next five years:
    • Levels of external funding, change of sources, interinstitutional collaboration
  • Financial issues
    • International funding
    • rather low (average 7%, max 29%)
    • but high expectations for additional funding and collaborative opportunities (especially in CEE)
    • scepticism towards “Brussels” bureaucracy and “one-size-fits-all”
  • Key Findings cont. Business funding
    • Low, with high variances (0 to 46 % - average 4%)
    • Projects with industry ranked highest for strategies and instruments to support innovation (triple helix model of Sweden and Finland)
    • collaborative research with industry ranked rather low when prioritising strategies for supporting research
  • Institutional issues
    • Governance
    • Policies and strategies
    • Funding and costing
    • Innovation
    • Management
    • Staff / Human Resources Development
  • Governance: a bottom-up-top-down development
    • Structure change :
    • More autonomy
    • = accountability
    • Equally high ranking for decentralised vs. centrally defined policy
    • Centres of excellence
    • More steering through Vice-Rectors for research, Councils, Committees
    • Balancing institutional team work and individual researcher freedom
    • Culture change:
    • Collegial towards entrepreneurial
    • Review of relations
    • New negotiation ground
    • Acceptance of more competition
    • More risk and responsibility
  • Policies and strategies: building critical mass and networks
    • The race for critical scientific mass
    • Research strong universities receive the bulk of funding
    • Less strong universities need extended networks to build complementarity
    • Internal funding to
      • balance external funds (“solidarity effect”)
      • Interdisciplinary projects
      • Doctoral programmes / recruitment of scientific staff
    • The issue of overhead charges
    • Research Offices
  • Funding and costing
    • Funding
    • Third party funding substantially increased
    • More dynamics and proactive acquisition culture
    • Dangers for long term sustainability
    • Volatility
    • Dependency
    • Career development
    • Skills issues
    • Costing
    • Unsatisfactory situation:
    • Revenues don’t cover costs
    • No cost transparency
    • Review of research costs as part of an overhaul of the institutional accounting systems (EURAB)
    • UK universities to charge 100% cost
  • Innovation: High activity-low funding-no culture
    • Many activities underway, many still in an early trial and error fashion (UK very advanced)
    • Technical Universities have a special status
    • Issue of “value chain” in-house or external
    • Low funding, mostly university+public (regional, local)
    • Innovation culture has a niche life in comprehensive universities
    • Lack of concepts and strategy
    • Little quality or performance evaluation
  • Management: high need for professionalisation
    • Skill development
    • General urgent need for better support to research activities
    • New funding reality needs different skills
    • Communication, marketing, negotiation, project management ...
    • Waste of scientific capacity??
    • Research Offices
    • Paradox: great need, low priority for training&development
    • Quality and performance
    • Vast majority of institutions uses the traditional quality and performance indicators,
    • i.e.publications, citations, previous funding, Phd graduates ,
    • Little evidence of impact evaluation or process quality control
  • Staff Issues: Growing scientific capacity in adverse conditions
    • Attraction and development of Phd Students
    • Aging academic community, doctoral programmes (CEE)
    • Problems of retention and career development
    • contracts, salaries, work conditions
    • Lack of professional staff
      • attraction and development
  • Recommendations
    • Data collection (national and European level)
    • Inter-institutional cooperation in networks
    • European funding sources (possibly through ERC)
    • Reliable funding resources
    • Improve management of research (skills, financial transparency, flexibility)
  • Questions in guise of conclusion
    • How much commonality of HE data and indicators do we need on a European level ?
    • Which form of European cooperation can best enhance (and challenge) European HE autonomy and excellence in research ?
    • Can and should a common ground for financing and costing be achieved ? How ?
    • How to improve the management of research ?
    • How to secure a European research career structure ?
  • Questions in guise of conclusions, cont.
    • How to introduce an institutional research strategy which encompasses both the individual researcher’s freedom and the institutional strategy
    • How to obtain reliable funding streams from different levels while increasing competitive bidding
    • How to improve/introduce the triple helix
    • How to create an innovation culture throughout the universities (is innovation by definition related to the hard sciences?)