European countries invest less than America and Asia; organising and funding research at the European level is clumsy and complex. National funding agencies look for a higher profile in European policy discussions as the biggest providers of flexible money, but face challenges: position vis-à-vis the ERC; joint responsibilities e.g. in providing mid-level European research infrastructures. Key performing agencies are central in defining major European research efforts: easy for big players (e.g. CNRS, MPG, TNO, major aerospace labs), but the tens of thousands universities and research institutions, or individual enterprises? At grass-roots level Euroscience aims to provide a platform and shared services for individual scientists and institutions. ScienceEurope defines itself as new European lobbyist representing many national funding agencies and some performing organisations. The European Science Foundation looks for its most effective added value. Horizon2020 presents major organisational and funding challenges: research and funding institutions must position themselves to ensure that solutions for major European research and innovation efforts are not largely politically inspired. European researchers and institutions need to unite to make their voice better heard and help find structures fit for purpose in the 21st century.
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