Helping to shape European research policy
The European Union’s research policy is of particular importance to the Max Planck Society, firstly because of its many networking relationships with European partners and secondly, because knowledge is the raw material of Europe. Whilst it is true that Europe is home to a rich research topography characterized by functional diversity, it is also facing some tough competition from scientific institutions around the world. The European Research Area is characterized by mobility, freedom of movement, and the open exchange of knowledge. The Max Planck Society would like to see European research policy oriented towards a consistent focus on excellence, because research and innovation are the primary guarantor for jobs and prosperity. As such, the Max Planck Society plays an active role in Brussels as an advisor, initiator and stakeholder.
Surviving in a competitive global market
The European Research Council (ERC) is dedicated to the promotion of European excellence on a global scale. Since its foundation in 2007, it has become an international point of reference and the most important driver of research excellence in Europe, and is now relevant to the system as a whole, which is why the Max Planck Society advocates giving the ERC permanent scientific autonomy and ensuring its financial security. The number of approved grants is insufficient to be able to fund every qualitatively outstanding project, but increasing the number could contribute towards retaining urgently needed outstanding researchers in Europe or may attract researchers from third countries to settle in the EU.
Europe needs more investment in research and innovation
In view of the challenges Europe is facing, in particular the increasing international competition in research and innovation and the global challenges, which require new solutions, the EU must continuously increase its investment in research and innovation in order to be prepared for the next decades.