step4EU Science, Technology, Education and Policy for Europe

Proposed work program

The Research Network on Science, Technology, Education and Policy for Europe (Step4EU) aims to contribute for the definition and information of public policies in science and higher education across Europe. This will be pursued through three complementing sets of activities in a way that complements and extends current EC activities on the observation of science, technological innovation and higher education:

  • Voluntary-based networking, through “mutual learning" meetings and workshops, including those with the participation of scientists, in a way to better explore emerging issues in science, technology and education policy in Europe.
  • Project-based, policy oriented thematic research, to help building and deepening a new research agenda on science, technology, education and policy for Europe, in a way to better understand innovation as a long-term cumulative, collective and uncertain process, involving an extensive division of labour over many stakeholders. It will include the systematic observation of national policies and budgets, as well as the observation of the changing dynamic environment between large firms, small firms, academic and non-academic research institutes, higher education institutions, government research and individuals in the innovation process. It includes the formation of consortia to apply to H2020, under the context of upcoming EC Calls for proposals. Potential initial ideas include:
    • Mobility of EU students, researchers and citizens, including detailed analysis for STEM and emerging issues associated with the impact of immigration policies on science, technology and higher education;
    • Emerging issues in industrial policy and Innovation networks and growth through a multi-institutional framework, including the need to consider collective action of a quite large range of institutions and funding agencies;
    • The unequal evolution of HE and Research organizations in different EU regions/nations, including emerging governance structures for science, technology and education in Europe, including the changing nature of the state and policy advise, as well as the debunking of public and private myths;
    • The multiple interactions between knowledge production and diffusion with urban dynamics and the need to foster smarter citizens and the continuous designing of cities for knowledge.
    • The internationalization of HE and Research organizations, as a potential way to improve and leverage EU strategies for growth and social cohesion.
  • Specialized and expert observation, through the creation of “professionaly-based” consortia for in-depth and "on-line” analysis of key issues associated with national annual budgeting for R&D and HE, as well as other key themes requiring specialized work at national and EU levels. This is aimed to guarantee:
    • Periodic observations at national and international levels. This will involve an expert information system and expert opinions, with the main goal to open and promote the discussion in Europe about annual R&D and HE budgets, by the time of the discussions in national parliaments (October), together with a mid term review (in June). This may involve creating a “back-office” in selected countries for the analysis of national budgets for science, technology and higher education (together with GBOARD data), together with aspects of policy configuration and relevant regulations.
    • A pro-active communication and dissemination agenda, making use of formal and informal methods, as well as a web-based platform and a diversified set of face-to-face meetings, workshops and events.