The Final Report of the Study “An analysis of the role and impact of industry participation in the framework programmes” conducted by Open Evidence and Ernst & Young for the European Commission has been published in the EU bookshop and is ready for download.
The objective of the study was to analyse participation patterns understanding the underlying motivations/barriers, differentiating between large companies and SMEs and also emerging patterns by comparing headline statistics for FP6 and FP7. In addition, the study sought to explore quantitatively and qualitatively the impact of FP7 with special regard to innovation and job creation. The study analyses industry participation in FP6 and FP7 based on an extensive literature review, the analysis of CORDA data corroborated by a counterfactual evaluation, interviews with participants, case studies and feedback from an expert workshop. The results show that industry participation has increased with respect to previous programmes, for both large companies and SMEs, with a particular concentration on high-tech sectors. The key factors for participation, as well as the reasons behind the different levels in different themes, appear to be more related to the strategic alignment of the programme and companies’ priorities, than to operational issues such as administrative burden, success rates and participation costs. The main motivations for participation are knowledge- rather than market-driven. In terms of job creation, and based on a counterfactual impact evaluation, the results show that FPs helped to create on average 2 new jobs per each company.
The study concludes that EU FP funding managed to substantially increase industry participation, although not for gazelles. It is broadly effective in building innovative competences in companies and in creating jobs. Yet substantial action is needed to overcome the European challenges in the innovation ecosystem and to foster greater impact. The final recommendations confirm the importance of the changes brought by Horizon 2020, which are generally welcome by stakeholders, such as the support towards activities closer to the market, the limitation of costs of participation through the introduction of two-stages funding, and the continuous strive towards administrative simplification.