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Press release on MIRRIS project mid-term results


How to improve performance of new Member States in accessing EU funding opportunities for Research and Innovation? 
MIRRIS explains how
Brussels, 21 January 2015


New European Member States are statistically under-represented, compared to EU15, in terms of participation to FP7 – the former EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation – and do not get to fully exploit EU funding opportunities. MIRRIS initiative explains which are the underlying causes of this gap. MIRRIS is providing interpretation tools for anyone involved in planning, funding, or supporting research in his-own country and interested in knowing which are the key participation factors to leverage in order to design, organize and implement effective support to EU programmes participation.

Why are some European countries excelling in exploiting EU direct funding for Research and Innovation, while some others leg behind? And why does the disparity in terms of participation and access to EU direct funds seems to concern notably new Member States – the so-called EU13? Which are the reasons behind this gap?

These are the questions leading the research of MIRRIS (Mobilizing Institutional Reforms for Research and Innovation Systems), an EU-funded Support Action aiming at offering an overview of the heterogeneous European panorama in terms of exploitation levels and support mechanisms as to what concerns access to EU funded programmes/projects, with a special focus on the 13 new European Member States.

The first interim results have now been published, based on the inputs collected in 2014 through an extensive policy dialogues exercise involving selected national stakeholders in each of the EU 13 Member States. About 15-20 participants – among decision-makers, implementation institutions and supporting structures – where invited to reflect on which barriers and other relevant factors would impact on each country’s participation to FP7/Horizon 2020. These conclusions are important not only for EU13 Member States, but for anyone involved in planning, funding, or supporting research in his-own country and interested in analyzing and understanding which are the underlying causes and factors underpinning success in EU funded programmes.

From single country profiles and statistics analysed, it is evident that all EU 13 Member States are significantly lagging behind compared with EU15 Member States. Moreover, the participation to FP7 when providing a benchmark to previous FP5 and FP6 programmes significantly declined. Disparities appear to be connected with a combination of barriers of different nature, such as structural and local assets, political and administrative national arrangements, and perception/motivational issues.

Low economic reward and incentives to researchers, lack of attractiveness of FP7 funding in comparison to ERDF funding or other national/bilateral schemes, lack of efficient infrastructures and human resources to support potential applicants at the national and organizational levels, or, simply, perceived distance with the setting agenda and strategic priorities set in EU R&D calls, are some amongst the many factors analysed in MIRRIS’ Policy Brief. Country-specific fact-sheets complete the analysis, as an annex to the main report, highlighting challenges and recommendations for each of the 13 new Member States.

MIRRIS mid-term results have been presented also in a closed-door MIRRIS workshop held on 29 October 2014 at the premises of the European Commission, in Brussels. The aim of MIRRIS Workshop was to present the main findings of the 1st round of policy dialogues held in the EU13, putting an emphasis on gaps and recommendations. At the workshop participated META Group (MIRRIS Coordinator) and a number of EC officials from DG Research and Innovation, DG Regional and Urban Policy, and from the JRC, which expressed high interest in the MIRRIS initiative.

MIRRIS mid-term results Policy Brief is available here:

MIRRIS workshop European Research Funding in the post-2004 Member States” press release and workshop presentations are available here:




Andrea Di Anselmo, Project Director,

Anita Tregner-Mlinaric, Project Manager,

Andrea Ferrara, Project Assistant,


Further Readings available:

·    Scoping Paper of MIRRIS - Participation of EU13 countries in FP7 (Christian Saublens – EURADA, MIRRIS Consortium Partner):

·   Enabling synergies between European Structural and Investment Funds, Horizon 2020, and other research, innovation and competitiveness-related Union programmes. Guidance for policy-makers and implementing bodies (European Commission):


Documents produced as “restricted:

·      Country Profile of the targeted countries

Baseline analysis of the targeted countries (participation in research and innovation under FP7, barriers and enablers, wider science and technology context)

(Coventry University and Aalborg University – MIRRIS Consortium Partners)

·         Synthesis Report

Baseline summary of key findings of the 1st round of Policy Dialogues in EU 13 Member States

(META Group and EURADA – MIRRIS Coordinator and Consortium Partner)

·        Country Summary Reports (annex to the Policy Brief)

            R&I national landscape, challenges and recommendations related to EU programmes participation.

            (META Group – MIRRIS Coordinator)


The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under agreement n°320209