EU Final Final Report1

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					     Australian Involvement in the
European Union’s Framework Program for
Research and Technological Development



                         FINAL REPORT



                                    to



  Department of Education, Science and Training*


                                    by


               Professor Ron Johnston
         Australian Centre for Innovation Ltd
                 University of Sydney
                           &
             Professor Don Scott-Kemmis
     Innovation Management and Policy Program
      National Graduate School of Management
            Australian National University


                           October 2004



     * a contract funded through the International Science Linkages Program
                                            2




Table of Contents

Executive Summary                                                                3

Terms of Reference                                                               6

Glossary                                                                         7

1. Introduction                                                                  8

   1.1      The Growth of International Collaboration in Science
            and Technology                                                       8
   1.2      The European Union Sixth Framework Program                          10

2. Australian Experience with FP4 and FP5                                       12

3. Australian Experience with FP6                                               17

   3.1      Australian Participation in FP6                                     17
   3.2      Interviews with Successful Participants                             18
   3.3      Workshops on Participation in FP6                                   22
   3.4      The CORDIS Survey                                                   22
   3.5      The EU Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the New
            Instruments of FP6                                                  29
   3.6      Roundtable of Research Stakeholders                                 29

4. Findings and Recommendations                                                 31

   4.1      The Priority Attached to Participation in FP6                       32
   4.2      Factors Leading to Australian Inclusion in FP Projects              33
   4.3      FP Structure and Instruments                                        33
   4.4      Benefits from Involvement in the FP                                 35
   4.5      Impediments to Involvement in the FP                                36
   4.6      Initiatives to Overcome the Impediments                             37
   4.7      An Australian Position on FP7                                       39


Appendix 1 Methodology                                                          41

Appendix 2 Responses to Issues Raised in the Workshops                          42

Appendix 3 Instrument A                                                         45

Appendix 4 Instrument B                                                         47




                 Australian Centre for Innovation Ltd, ABN 28 055 715 752
             Tel 02-9351-3934 Fax 02-9351-3974 Email rj@aciic.eng.usyd.edu.au
                                Website http://www.aciic.org.au
                                               3


Executive Summary

In response to the challenges of the emerging global knowledge economy, new
patterns of international scientific cooperation are developing, a particular feature of
which has been the establishment of international consortia-based, -led and -operated
research and research-supporting programs and projects. The EU Framework
Programs (FP) represent the biggest concerted drive to build, and build on, strong
international cooperation in research and technology development, predominantly
within Europe, but also with other international partners.

The interest and commitment of Australian researchers to joining European
colleagues in EU Framework-funded projects continues to increase, with 30 projects
valued at more than €95 million in FP$, 33 projects valued at more than €244 million
in FP5 and 159 proposals, with 11 successful, 6 on reserve, and 13 Marie Curie
Fellowships from the first call of FP6.

Australian researchers place, on average, a medium to high priority on working with
European researchers. The priority is strong, but less so, to work within an FP. This is
hardly surprising, for at its simplest, the FP is just a funding mechanism. It should be
emphasised that the extent of these priorities is largely set by individual researchers or
research teams. The Australian approach to linkage with European research remains
largely ‗bottom-up‘, driven by the interests of the researchers. With a few marked
exceptions, universities and research organisations have not established strategic
objectives or targets with regard to engagement with European research.

Respondents without linkages into Europe had a lower level of commitment than
those with established connections, but the great majority rated participating in an FP
project as a high or medium priority. Here is a group, quite likely a new generation of
researchers, with high potential to engage in international research but, as yet, without
the necessary ‗complementary assets‘ of established relationships necessary to
achieve this potential. This represents a clear policy challenge and opportunity.

The overwhelming determinant of inclusion of Australian researchers in FP projects is
prior, well-established relationships with European researchers/research teams.
Australian researchers are rarely proactive in trying to set up a bid for an FP project,
and it would be extremely difficult to do so from Australia. Rather, they are invited to
join FP-focussed consortia because, through their established linkages, the European
initiators can see how the Australians can add significant value to their proposal, and
to conduct of the project.

The structure and instruments of FP6 have been the subject of vigorous critique in
Europe, as well as Australia, for their excessive and counter-productive emphasis on
scale, the lack of clarity about the various instruments, and their bureaucratic
complexity. There is, however, support for the instruments that facilitate the mobility
of researchers.

There is a universal view of the substantial positive benefits from involvement in an
FP project. FP6 successful partners consider increased funding, and developing
enhanced knowledge and expertise as the major benefits. They also saw considerable
benefit from the opportunity to demonstrate Australian capability and to enhance their

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                                               4


international scientific reputation. There were also direct practical benefits such as
attracting good PhD students, and research staff.

The impediments remain the same as those reported for FP4 and FP5. The lack of a
systematic and significant commitment by the Australian Government to supporting
Australian researchers in establishing linkages and conducting research with Europe is
the dominating barrier. The demand for IAP, now ISL, Program funds alone
demonstrates that researchers are identifying excellent international S&T cooperation
opportunities in priority areas that they cannot take up for lack of financial support.

A small number of initiatives would significantly increase the opportunities for
Australian researchers to participate in and benefit from EU Framework Programmes.

The case has been made that an increase in the level of funding for collaboration
would increase Australian participation in leading international research The case for
specific targeting of FP projects is particularly strong. These build on excellence in
national research systems in Europe and in many cases mirror Australia‘s research
priorities. The precedent is well established, with the targeted support of the ARC for
research in a specific field with US collaborators.

The NHMRC in Australia, and the Institutes of Health Research in Canada, provide a
rapid assessment of proposals for participation in successful FP projects without a
domestic peer review process. In order to provide additional incentives for both
European and Australian researchers to develop proposals for collaboration, the
ARC and ISL should follow this model, at least on a trial basis.

There is also a case for stronger coordination of efforts to fund and promote
cooperation. FEAST has made a useful start, but is limited in budget and capability.
FEAST should be appropriately resourced to act as a coordinating body, in
partnership with Commonwealth agencies, universities, the Academies, and
industry. An early priority would be the development of an overall strategy for
participation in FP7 and the priorities for fields of collaboration.

Collaboration is built on prior personal links and shared interests. The key investment
for the future is in enabling researcher mobility, particularly for early stage
researchers. Finding partners, learning about opportunities for collaboration in
specific initiatives, participating in the development of proposals and preparing
proposals for funding from Australia are all resource-intensive activities. The
Australian Government already provides significant seed support for the development
of collaboration via the Science Linkages Program. We emphasise the importance of
maintaining, and continuing to develop and promote mechanisms that reduce the
costs and barriers to engaging in the early steps of network and collaboration
development.

There is evidence of an increasing awareness of the importance of investing in a
significant liaison capability in Europe. The recent decisions by DEST to locate full-
time S&T Counsellors in Brussels and Paris, and by the Go8 to establish the Australia
Centre for Europe in Berlin are positive initiatives. There are clearly substantial
opportunities to promote Australian research and to learn about collaboration
opportunities in Brussels.

                    Australian Centre for Innovation Ltd, ABN 28 055 715 752
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                                               5



FEAST has been a useful initiative to raise awareness among Australian researchers
of the opportunities for collaboration with Europe and among European researchers of
Australian research strengths. Both its activities and its resources need to be
increased, as recommended by the independent evaluation for CEC. Its role should
also be expanded, in particular to raise awareness of the outcomes of FP research in
order to raise the level of benefit in Australia of FP research.

There is likely to be value in focussed efforts to raise awareness of opportunities. We
suggest that the agencies that support and facilitate research collaboration, in
association with FEAST, establish mechanisms to identify emerging S&T areas
with major collaborative potential, and to facilitate the formation of research
clusters within Australia and with Europe.

It would be timely for DEST to bring together all the key Australian stakeholders in
collaborative research with Europe to develop a concerted strategy for building and
publicising more effective relationships with Europe, and more effective
exploitation of the opportunities offered by the EU Framework Programs.




                    Australian Centre for Innovation Ltd, ABN 28 055 715 752
                Tel 02-9351-3934 Fax 02-9351-3974 Email rj@aciic.eng.usyd.edu.au
                                   Website http://www.aciic.org.au
                                               6


Terms of Reference

Aim

To identify the impediments in the Australian and European Union (EU) research
systems, including application procedures, which prevent an increase in science and
technology (S&T) cooperation by Australian and European researchers, and to
identify possible ways to overcome them. The study is to consider the experiences of
researchers and identify possible initiatives to overcome impediments to involvement
in the EU‘s Sixth Framework Program (FP6) and future Programs.

Terms of Reference

In relation to Australian involvement in the EU‘s 6th Framework Program for
Research, the study should:

   i.   provide details of Australian participation in FP6 to date;
  ii.   provide an assessment of the priority attached by Australian university and
        public sector researchers to participation in the program;
 iii.   analyse and comment on the structure of the FP to identify which instruments
        are best suited to involvement by Australian researchers;
 iv.    identify the factors that have lead to Australian researchers being included in
        FP projects or project proposals, including any special incentives offered by
        various funding agencies
  v.    identify the impediments (and their relative importance) from Australian and
        European perspectives, to involvement in the program, as perceived and/or
        experienced by Australian researchers, including the structure of the FP,
        practicalities of involvement, the availability of support and the priority
        accorded by researchers to their involvement in FP6 research projects;
 vi.    identify initiatives that might overcome the impediments to involvement in the
        FP which were raised above;
vii.    identify the types of benefits and assess the value of these, that accrue to
        Australia from involvement in the FP;
viii.   analyse and comment on the advantages and disadvantages attached to
        Associate Country status rather than Third Country status;
 ix.    identify structural and other issues that are of an advantage/disadvantage for
        Australian participation and offer suggestions to be provided as input to the
        EC on the design of FP7;
  x.    comment on any other matter relating to the aims of this consultancy.

Acknowledgements

The findings of this report owe much to the very high capability and generosity of
Lynne Hunter and Ingrid Kropman of the Australian Delegation of the CEC, and
Michael Parker and Alison White of FEAST.




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                                           7


Glossary

AAS        Australian Academy of Science
ARC        Australian Research Council
ATSE       Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
AVCC       The Australian Vice-Chancellor‘s Committee
CORDIS     Community Research and Development Information Service
CEC        Council of the European Commission
CRC        Cooperative Research Centres
CSIRO      Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
DEST       Australian Government Department of Education, Science and
           Training
DITR       Australian Government Department of Industry, Tourism and
           Resources
EC         European Commission
ERA        European Research Area
EU         European Union
FEAST      Forum for European-Australian Science and Technology
FP         Framework Program
Go8        Group of Eight Universities (Australian)
IMS        Intelligent Manufacturing Systems Program
IP         Integrated Projects
NHMRC      National Health and Medical Research Council
NoE        Networks of Excellence
RTD        Research and Technological Development
S&T        Science and Technology
STREPs     Specific Targeted Research Projects




                Australian Centre for Innovation Ltd, ABN 28 055 715 752
            Tel 02-9351-3934 Fax 02-9351-3974 Email rj@aciic.eng.usyd.edu.au
                               Website http://www.aciic.org.au
                                                   8


1.      Introduction

1.1     The Growth of International Collaboration in Science and Technology

        Twenty years ago, about one in every ten Australian scientific papers had an
        international co-author. Today [2001], the ratio is around one in every three.
        In counts of scientific papers, the European Union has grown over the last
        twenty years to outrank the USA as Australia’s most significant geographic
        area for scientific research collaboration…These collaborative efforts help
        underpin the world class scientific research efforts of Australia.1

There are a variety of reasons for the pronounced development of collaborative
research. Tegart2 suggests a major driving force has been the development of the
global knowledge economy:

        The success of enterprises, and of national economies as a whole, has become
        more reliant upon their effectiveness in gathering, absorbing and utilising
        knowledge, as well as its creation. The global knowledge economy is, in effect,
        a hierarchy of networks, driven by the acceleration of the rate of change and
        the rate of learning, where the opportunity and capability to get access to and
        join knowledge-intensive and learning-intensive relations determines the
        socio-economic position of individuals and firms.

A recent report by Allen Consulting3 estimated that Commonwealth Government
expenditure on international S&T was about 6% of total S&T expenditure in 2001-02.
It also estimated that about 25% of collaboration is with the US and 36% is with
European countries ( UK 11%, Germany 6%, France 5%, Netherlands 2%, Italy 2%,
Sweden 1%, other EU 5%, other Europe 4%).

The available data are presented in the following two Tables:


INTERNATIONAL S&T COLLABORATION EXPENDITURES 2001-2

Portfolios and Agencies Analysed                                   Fully Characterised
                                                                Commonwealth International
                                                                S&T Expenditure ($ million)
Australian Research Council                                                53.4
National Health & Medical Research Council                                 26.9
Australian Centre for International Agricultural                           25.6
Research
Education, Science & Training Portfolio                                        16.4
Agriculture Forestry & Fisheries                                                7.7
Environment and Heritage Portfolio                                              4.1
Total Expenditure                                                             134.1


1
  Healy, M., ‗Developing International Exchanges of Researchers‘, Workshop 1 Theme Paper, Forum
for European-Australian Science and Technology (FEAST), Workshop - Enhancing Research through
Collaboration and Linkages, Canberra, May 2001.
2
  Tegart, G., ‗Collaboration and Networking‘, Plenary Address to FEAST 4 – Networking for
Excellence Conference, Canberra, June 2003.
3
  Allen Consulting Group, ‗A Study of International Science and Technology Policies and Programs‘,
Department of Education, Science and Training, Canberra, August 2003.
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                                                  9


INTERNATIONAL S&T COLLABORATION EXPENDITURES 2001-2 – ESTIMATES

Portfolios and Agencies                                        Estimated Commonwealth
                                                             International S&T Expenditure
                                                                       ($ million)
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research                              40
Organisation
Universities                                                                24
Cooperative Research Centres                                                 4
Australian Institute of Marine Science                                      0.3
Other Portfolios and Agencies                                               8.2

Total – estimated* S&T expenditure                                          76.5

Total – characterised* S&T expenditure                                     134.1

Grand Total – characterised and estimated                                  210.6
expenditure
       fully characterised funding was based on the responses from Agencies that could provide
        appropriate detailed information; estimates were made of other Agency activities.

Allen Consulting noted:

        An analysis of other countries’ polices and programs, particularly priorities
        and other aspects relevant to S&T cooperation with Australia, shows that all
        OECD countries are giving increasing attention and support to international
        S&T cooperation. For many of these countries, their total investment on
        international S&T is, on a proportional basis, significantly greater than that
        of Australia. They also offer a broader range of better funded support
        mechanisms.4

They drew on a major international study5 to conclude that the vast majority of
scientific cooperation is through bilateral cooperation between individual research
institutes and bottom-up cooperation arranged by individual laboratories, universities,
or researchers themselves. Moreover, in building international collaboration
traditional cultural links are much stronger than trade relations or any other market
aspects.

In general terms, the benefits of collaboration may be seen as falling into two main
categories:
        direct benefits to the S&T concerned, allowing the research to be
            performed and/or applied at a higher quality, with a broader scope, more
            quickly or more economically than would be the case without cooperation;
        indirect benefits arising from the existence of the cooperation. These may
            accrue directly to the participants (for example, through enhancement of
            reputation, access to further research funds) or more generally to the
            countries involved in terms of political, economic or social benefits.6


4
  Ibid, p.x1.
5
  Rhode, B and Stein J A (eds), International Cooperation Policies of the EU/EEA Countries in
Science and Technology (INCOPOL), Synthesis report prepared for CREST and the European
Commission, 1999 cited in Allen Consulting, p.37.
6
  Allen Consulting, op cit, p.40.
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                                                10


There is a strong increase in collaboration and knowledge flows, evident in the
growing role of external knowledge sourcing in firms and the growth of international
collaboration in research. The incidence of collaboration with Europe in ARC
competitive grants trebled over the five years to 2003. Over 50% of ARC
International Awards and Fellowships over 1998-2003 are with European countries.
In addition, many CRCs have strong links with European researchers and companies.
The extent and focus of collaboration is reflected in data obtained from the ARC:

ARC Competitive Grants: 1998-2003 - Reported Collaborations

                 Country                 Collaborations                     %
                    UK                         965                         33.9
                 Germany                       584                         20.5
                  France                       430                         15.1
                   Italy                       184                          6.5
                 Sweden                        179                          6.3
                Netherlands                    174                          6.1
                  Spain                         74                          2.6
                 Denmark                        70                          2.5
                 Belgium                        58                          2.0
                  Austria                       52                          1.8
                  Other                         74                          2.7
                  Total                       2844                         100


1.2       The European Union Sixth Framework Program

The Sixth Framework Program, launched in November 2002 for the 2002-06 five-
year period, was conceived as starting the process towards creating the European
Research Area (ERA), marshalling Europe‘s research and scientific networks towards
becoming ―the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world,
capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social
cohesion‖ (the Lisbon Declaration). The overall budget was 17.5 billion.

FP6 built on the programs of FP5, but reduced the number of thematic priorities,
sought to simplify management and procedures, and introduced a number of new
support instruments. The full set of instruments, in largely descending magnitude of
budget, is:

         Networks of Excellence (NoE), designed to strengthen excellence on a
          particular research topic by networking the critical mass of resources and
          expertise through integrating activities, joint research and activities for
          spreading excellence; the scale was envisaged as providing ‗European
          leadership‘ and being a ‗world force‘, and possibly involve ‗hundreds‘ of
          researchers. Funding is on a ‗per capita‘ formula basis.

         Integrated Projects (IP), designed to generate the knowledge required to
          implement the seven priority thematic areas – life sciences, information
          technology, nano-technologies, aeronautics, food quality, sustainable

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           development and governance. Activities include research, development and
           demonstration, typically running for 3-5 years. Funding is 50% for RTD.

          Specific Targeted Research Projects (STREPs), as for FP5, supporting
           research, technology development and demonstration, typically running for 2-
           3 years. Funding is 50% for RTD.

          Specific research projects for SMEs, designed to support cooperative or
           collective research, to 50% of RTD costs.

          Actions to promote and develop human resources and mobility – principally
           Marie Curie Fellowships for European researchers to work in other countries,
           and or non-European researchers to work in Europe. Funding is 100% of
           budget.

          Coordinated actions, continue the concerted actions/thematic networks of FP5,
           intended to promote and support the networking and coordination of research
           and innovation. Funding is up to 100% of budget.

          Specific support actions are designed to assist conferences, awards, expert
           groups‘ communication, etc to promote FP6 implementation, at 100% of
           budget.

International participation is open to all countries under three categories:
     ‗associated countries‘ (eg Switzerland, Israel), where establishments can
        participate and be funded with the same rights and responsibilities as partners
        from EU member states;
     ‗third countries‘, for whom participation is possible on a self-funding basis,
        provided it is in accord with the EU interest and will contribute significant
        added value; and
     INCO (International Cooperation) – some 67 developing countries are
        identified as targets for ‗Specific Measures in Support of International
        Cooperation‘.7

FP6 conditions include a statement that in exceptional cases, EU funding for a
participant from a third country may be granted if this is essential to achieve the
project‘s objectives, but there is no evidence that this clause has ever been invoked, at
least for Australian participants.




7
    Details can be found at ftp://ftp.cordis.lu/pub/fp6/docs/wp/sp1/sp1_annexc_wp_200207_en.pdf
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                                                 12


2. Australian Experience with FP4 and FP5

A number of surveys of Australian participation in FP4 and FP5 over the years since
19968 provide the basis for the following summary of the level and value of
collaboration:

                                                          FP4                             FP5
                                                     (1994-1998)                      (1998-2002)
Number of full contractual partners                        30                              33
Value of full contractual partnerships                  >E30*                            E68.8
Number of subcontractors                                    4                             10.5
Value of subcontracts                                    E10.5                           E92.5
Number of IMS projects                                      7                              13
Value of IMS projects                                  E30.7**                         E32.1***
Estimated total number of projects                         68                              71
Estimated total value of projects                       >E94.8                          >E243.8
    * 14 of 30 projects; ** 4 of 7 projects; *** 8 of 13 projects.

A list of FP5 projects is available from the Delegation of the EC, ‗EU-Australia
Research Collaboration‘, Newsletter, Canberra, July 2003.

One of the major continuing difficulties with analysis of Australian involvement in
the EU FP is the lack of adequate and accurate data, in both Europe and Australia.
The complexity of the FP processes, and the fact that ‗third countries‘, and in
particular Australia, are a small and not greatly significant minority in the FP
applications, and the requirements of confidentiality and contractual obligations,
make it difficult to extract timely and accurate data from the EC.

The position is not significantly better in Australia:

        There are considerable limitations in the data on S&T collaboration. With few
        exceptions, these data are not systematically collected by either research
        funding or performing bodies. In most cases quantitative data, beyond a
        simple count of projects, are not available and data on the level of investment
        are not reliable. There is no standardisation of fields of classification that
        would allow meaningful comparison across institutions. Data on other forms
        of S&T collaboration are not collected.

        The most urgent follow-up action would appear to be to identify all
        organisations involved in supporting or conducting collaborative S&T
        activities, and to convene a process to establish a standardised approach to
        data collection and reporting.9


8
  For example, Johnston, R., ‗Australian Engagement with FP4‘, EC, Brussels, 1997; Johnston, R.,
‗Towards a Broadening of the Agreement on Scientific and Technical Cooperation between Australia
and the EC‘, Dept of Industry, Science and Tourism, Canberra, 1998; Dept of Industry, Science and
Resources, Survey of Australian Participants in the EC FP4, Canberra, 1999; Johnston, R., ‗Collection
and Analysis of Data on Australian-European S&T Collaboration‘, FEAST, Canberra, 2002;
Delegation of the EC, ‗EU-Australia Research Collaboration‘, Newsletter, Canberra, July 2003.
9
  Johnston, R., op cit, 2002, p.2.
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Inquiries during this project indicate there has been relatively little change in data
collection in Australian research agencies since this report.

The review of Australian involvement in FP410 noted the relatively small level of
projects with Australian involvement, the limited awareness of the EU FP among
Australian researchers, and the barriers presented by a lack of committed funding for
Australian researchers who are partners in approved FP projects.

An analysis of FP5 recipients revealed a very wide distribution of participants – 23
institutions in projects. This lack of evidence of any significant concentration (with
perhaps one or two exceptions) suggests that engagement with FP5 was largely driven
by individual researchers with links to Europe, as opposed to any organisation making
a strategic commitment to build strong research linkages into Europe.


The singular exceptions were the CSIRO Institute of Manufacturing Science and
Technology, where there has been a strong commitment to the IMS program, and the
University of NSW, where a particular staff member with personal interests in and
connections with Europe mounted a major effort to facilitate UNSW researchers to
bid for FP projects. It is worth noting that the strong performance of UNSW in FP5
has not continued in FP6, and that the key staff member has moved on.

The institutions that were involved in more than one FP5 project were, in order:

                    CSIRO Institute of Manufacturing S&T                5
                    University of NSW                                   5
                    Melbourne University                                4
                    Griffith University                                 2
                    Australian National University                      2
                    Curtin University                                   2
                    CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Research              2
                    CSIRO ATNF (Australian Telescope)                   2

In 2002, the Department of Education, Science and Training, together with the EC
Delegation to Australia and New Zealand, conducted a review of Australian
involvement in FP511. All respondents rated involvement in FP5 as ‗extremely
beneficial‘, particularly with regard to access to the specialised skills and knowledge
of their European colleagues.

Other findings were:
         75% of respondents indicated the quality of collaboration was excellent,
           while the remainder thought it was good;
         52% of the projects resulted in the generation of IP; with 75% of
           respondents having rights to commercially exploit IP generated;
         56% of the projects resulted in publications with all or some of the
           partners;
         84% of respondents have conducted further projects with their partners;

10
     Johnston, R., op cit, 1997.
11
     DEST/CEC, ‗Australian Participation in the EU‘s FP5‘, Canberra, 2002.
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                                                  14


              68% indicated they were intending to participate in FP6;
              the average amount of funding contributed to the projects by European
               partners to that of their Australian partners was about 10:1 – a very high
               leverage;
              most projects were undertaken with groups from the UK, Netherlands and
               Italy with 76, 60 and 52% respectively.

Constraints included:
        the tyranny of distance – a high proportion of funds are spent on travel and
           communication;
        the size of projects - beneficial for establishing linkages, but the number of
           partners involved requires extensive communication which is not reflected
           in the level of funding received;
        a need for ‗pump priming‘ funding to enable partners to meet when
           developing new proposals;

However, the benefits were seen as substantial, involving:
      gaining access to new knowledge and infrastructure;
      marketing of Australian research capabilities;
      creating opportunities for Australian SMEs;
      further developing research management skills; and
      increased networks and opportunities for collaboration.

It was noted that although the Australian participants usually bring a small but unique
and essential component of the project, they are then able to share in the much greater
sized outcome.

Key findings to emerge from the FEAST ‗Networking for Excellence‘ Conference
held in Canberra on 13-14 November 2003 were12:

          While, the primary objective in any EU funding of Australian research is
           accessing knowledge and research capacity for Europe, the many areas of
           shared interest and complementary capability point to a large potential for
           collaboration.

          The essential foundation of collaboration is personal links and shared interests.
           Most collaborations are built on prior relationships; hence the mobility of
           researchers, particularly early-career researchers, is a key investment in longer
           term collaborative relationships.

          In order to link effectively it is important to know who is doing what – hence
           good information on Australian research priorities and strengths needs to be
           projected into Europe.

          EU is developing leading-edge research collaboration mechanisms, new
           patterns of research–industry links (eg NanoMicro Club and nanotechnology
           networks), more effective cross-disciplinary integrated projects, and leading

12
     Based on the Summary of the Conference presented by Ron Johnston
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                                                    15


           research strengths in important areas. Hence it is essential to link extensively
           into these.

          There is a clear recognition both of the potentially very large benefits that can
           be gained from collaboration (knowledge, access to infrastructure, new
           insights in terms of knowledge, organisation of research, complementary
           knowledge, applications of knowledge, new relationships) and the costs of
           effective collaboration (time, management, money). Participating actively in
           large collaborative projects, and making the most of the opportunity for
           learning and developing new links, can be very demanding in terms of time
           and the need for mobility.

          ―The single best way to access the FP is to be European‖

Allen Consulting13 identified five main categories of benefits motivating participation
by Australian researchers in EU projects:
    strategic contribution to creation of critical mass in leading edge research
       projects;
    access to new technology and to the European market;
    managerial access to expertise, new systems, new fields of research;
    technical access to new practices, models and databases;
    personal rewards in terms of status, growth of knowledge, membership of
       networks.

Two main groups of barriers to collaboration emerged:
   Bureaucracy, legal and funding issues — lack of standardised contracts or
     other umbrellas to ease initiation of collaboration arrangements, as well as
     concerns over proprietary data and intellectual property rights over technology
     developed collaboratively. Also participants in international agreements often
     have to use multiple funding sources, each with its own priorities and project
     requirements.
   Culture, communication and logistics — difficulties in developing a common
     frame of reference and research plan and reaching an understanding across a
     group with different backgrounds. The ability of participants to communicate
     effectively and to keep international collaboration informed over the long
     distance between Australia and Europe has been a problem in some projects.

They concluded:
       The data in this study demonstrate strong interest in S&T cooperation with
       Europe, and a good match between European and Australian priorities. There
       is an apparent willingness, on the part of European countries, to collaborate
       with Australia. The cooperation opportunities in Europe, especially those with
       the EU, are unique and offer Australia access to Europe’s best researchers.
       However the excess demand for IAP-IST funds indicates that there is a need
       for a significant increase in funding if the benefits of increased international
       S&T cooperation with Europe are to be realised.14


13
     Allen Consulting, op cit., p.43.
14
     Ibid, p.54-55.
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In a similar vein, a study of Australian participation in megascience projects15 notes
the high level of returns to Australia from relatively modest investments in
participation in these projects, and the ability it provides to leverage on the far larger
investments made by other countries.

The Intelligent Manufacturing Systems (IMS) Program forms a special subset of
international collaborative projects supported by the EU. While the origins of IMS lie
outside the EU, it has been determined by the EU to be an international collaborative
scheme which can deliver high value, and consequently a successful proposal to the
IMS automatically attracted EU (but not Australian) funding.

IMS is an ―industry-led, international R&D program established to develop the next
generation of manufacturing and processing technologies‖16. It provides a framework
and a support structure to facilitate the formation of international consortia of large
and small companies, universities and research organisations to pursue pre-
competitive research and technology development, within a legal cooperation
agreement which protects ownership of intellectual property. This framework is
designed to provide a congenial space for cooperation across disciplines,
organisations, and national borders.17

In all, 13 IMS projects with Australian participants have been funded under FP5, to a
total value of approximately E50 million. Direct benefits are extremely difficult to
quantify, but every project can point to a range of intangible benefits. The most
valued is the contacts, resulting from the way in which IMS operates as a ‗very
exclusive dating service‘. The success of the matching provides many opportunities
for learning, which is seen as crucial for effective research and technology
development (RTD) and commercial operation in the global knowledge economy.

There is a significant leveraging effect of Australia‘s engagement in IMS projects,
with the Australian contribution representing a small proportion, commonly 5-10%, of
total RTD project budgets. However, turning this potential leverage into reality
depends crucially on the capacity of the participants to effectively transform it into
learning, commercial or environmental outcomes.




15
   Johnston, R., ‗A Study of Australian Participation in Multilateral Megascience Projects‘, DEST,
2003.
16
   See http://www.ims.org.au.
17
    Johnston, R., ‗Assessment of the Utility to Australia of the Intelligent Manufacturing Systems (IMS)
Program as a Tool for International, Industrial R&D Collaboration‘, DITR, 2004.
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                                              17



3. Australian Experience with FP6

3.1    Australian Participation

The Australian Delegation of the CEC has been able to identify 159 proposals to the
‗first call‘ of FP6, by institution and instrument. However, for contractual and privacy
reasons this information has had to remain confidential, with the exception of the 11
projects ‗retained for negotiation‘ ( = successful) and 6 projects placed on the reserve
list. This total included 7 ‗inbound‘ and 6 ‗outbound‘ Marie Curie awards.

The breakdown of proposals by type of instrument is as follows:

               Integrated project                         54
               Human Resources and Mobility               52
               Specific targeted research                 19
               Networks of excellence                     18
               Concerted actions                           7
               Specific support actions                    1
               Other                                       8
               Total                                     159

Hence, one-third of proposals were aimed each at the largest category, by size, and
the Marie Curie Fellowships (into and out of Australia). These were followed by 12%
each for the larger NoE and the smaller STREPs. It should be pointed out, however,
that in many cases, the EC processes allocated proposals to instruments, rather than
the proposers selecting them.

With regard to institutional origin, 57% of applications were from universities, 17%
from CSIRO, 12% from Centres and Institutes, and 9% from private companies. The
majority of universities had at least one application, but the majority arose from the
Go8 research universities. The largest number of applications was from:
    Sydney, Melbourne                 7
    ANU, Monash                       6
    UNSW, Wollongong, UTS 5

The available evidence suggests that there is very little participation by Australian
firms in FP6 projects. However DITR did take a delegation of including four industry
associations to the opening of FP6 in 2002.

We were able to locate and contact nine of the eleven Australian companies identified
as participating in proposals under FP6. None of these were in successful proposals.
In all cases the firms had prior links with Europe, either because they were (or were
previously) subsidiaries of European companies or because they had collaborated in
bilateral research or in FP4 or FP5. In all cases the Australian firm was invited into
the project by a European firm or organisation and the European partner had prepared
the proposal.

One Australian firm which had participated in FP5 and had sought to participate in
FP6 commented that "collaboration in Europe can be ‗high bandwidth‘ - dealing with
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the volume of shared information can be overwhelming. The EU is moving ahead in
our field – they are much better at linking research to application and building
learning about effective application into the research project. We seem very flat-
footed in Australia in comparison."

There is no doubt that the effort required and the uncertainties of collaboration under
the FPs discourage Australian firms from pursuing it. But it is important to note that
assessments in the UK found that several aspects of the new instruments, including
the requirement for sustained involvement and the development of projects with very
large numbers of participants, were a disincentive to participation by firms:

        Many participants find the bidding and contracting procedures difficult to
        engage with, particularly the current mechanisms to support larger projects.18

3.2     Interviews with ‘Successful’ Applicants

Twelve interviews, covering 16 proposals, were conducted by telephone, once
permission had been obtained by the staff of the Australian Delegation of the CEC for
contact to be made. This sample did not include any successful Marie Curie
applicants. The interview instrument is included in the Methodology Appendix.

Q1      How did you become involved in an FP project?

        Pre-established linkages/invitation from European colleagues                 10
        Active pursuit of European partner                                            1
        Pursuit by a European partner                                                 1

The dominant mode was an invitation from a European colleague or organisation with
which the researcher had a long association. In four of these cases, the researcher
themselves was a relatively recent immigrant to Australia from Europe, and brought
their connections with them. Hence recruiting academic staff from Europe would
appear to be a very effective way for Australian universities to establish more FP
projects.

One CRC ‗advertised‘ their willingness to become a full partner after working as a
sub-contractor to an FP5 project, and the offer was taken up.

The single case of being pursued by a European partner turned out to be a failure, as it
became ‗evident that the Europeans simply wanted to hold their winter meetings at
the Barrier Reef.‘

Q2     Do you have established bilateral linkages with European researchers? List
the countries and number of partner groups in each over the past 3 years.

All 12 respondents had well-established bilateral linkages: 4 with one European
country, 4 with 2 countries, 2 with 3 countries and 2 with 4 countries. They had an
average of 2.5 partners each.

18
 UK Office of Science and Technology, April 2004, Consultation Document to seek views on the 7 th
EU R&D Framework Programme
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                                                  19



Partners were drawn from a wide range of European countries:
       Nordic countries            6
       Germany, UK                 4
       France                      3
       Italy, Austria, Estonia     1

For the eight respondents with partners in more than one country, there was only one
partner in each country. However, two of the four who had partners in only one
country had three partners in that country.

Q3a    How important is engagement with the EU FP?

       Extremely – 1                Moderately – 9            Little or none – 2

Q3b    How important is engagement with European researchers?

       Extremely – 8                Moderately – 3            Little or none – 1

Thus it is apparent, from this sample that links with European researchers are the
prime objective, and the FP is, at least in part, a means to that end.

Q4a What proportion of your budget/activity has been linked to FP projects over
the past three years?

           0% - 8                   1-10% - 3                 >10% - 1

Q4b What proportion of your budget/activity has been linked to European projects
over the past three years?

 0% - 1                    1-10% - 8                   11-20% - 2               >20% - 1

As for the previous question, there has been a much stronger emphasis on working
with European researchers funded by means other than the FP.

Q5a What proportion of your budget/activity is likely to be linked to FP projects
over the next three years?

 0% - 1                    1-10% - 9                   >10% - 2

Q5b What proportion of your budget/activity is likely to be linked to European
projects over the next three years?

  0% - 1                   1-10% - 1                   11-20% - 7               >20% - 3

This evidence suggests that a significant increase in collaboration with European
researchers, and under the FP, is anticipated.




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                                              20


Q6     Which instruments in the FP are most appropriate for you?

               Marie Curie                                0
               Integrated Projects                        7
               Networks of Excellence                     2
               Specific targeted research                 3
               Coordinated Actions                        3
               Don’t Know                                 3

It became apparent from the interviews that in general there was limited knowledge
about the various instruments, with the exception of respondents from Europe, and
two Australians who had spent time in Brussels. Respondents largely favoured
whichever instrument they had been successful under.

Q7     What factors have been important in your being involved in an FP project?

               Established links                          10
               Key knowledge                               7
               Key technical expertise                     5
               Key infrastructure/equipment                3
               Strategic focus                             1
               Key data/techniques                         0
               Funding support                             0

The emphasis on having already well-established scientific links is once again
apparent. The other major factors are the knowledge, and/or technical expertise that
Australian researchers are able to contribute to European projects. As found in
previous reviews, Australian researchers are valued for their special knowledge and
not that they may have access to some local data. Funding support is obviously not
important in joining an FP project.

Q8     What have been the major benefits for your research program?

               Increased funding                           10
               Enhanced knowledge                           8
               Enhanced technical expertise                 6
               Being part of an international team          6
               Access to other networks                     2
               Access to infrastructure                     1
               Leverage on larger investment                1
               New IP (patent)                              1
               Access to a wider range of partners          1
               Learning about international collaboration 1
               Exchange of students                         1
               Staying in touch with the rest of the world  1
               Sharing a larger pool of research outcomes 1
               International benchmarking                   1

The benefits of engagement in FP projects are clearly many and varied. Despite the
lack of dedicated funding for EU projects in Australia, these data show that it is still

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                                               21


seen as a means for obtaining more resources to support research. Enhanced
knowledge and expertise are the common objective of being part of an FP project.
Being recognised as part of an international team is seen as conferring standing with
peers and one‘s institution.

Q9       What are the major barriers to your involvement in an FP project?

                Time and money costs                                6
                Lack of dedicated funding                           5
                Bureaucratic complexity in DEST                     3
                Bureaucratic complexity in FP                       3
                Lack of clear information                           3
                Distance                                            3
                Finding the right partners                          2
                Difference in timing of funding schemes             1
                High opportunity cost                               1

As has been found in previous reviews, there are very high costs, particularly for the
first-timer, in preparing a proposal for the FP, negotiating with colleagues, etc. One
contributor to FEAST4 described the phenomenon as ―email implosion‖. The lack of
dedicated funding is seen as a significant barrier, but at least for these respondents, it
is not a total deterrent. We can only wonder how many Australian researchers are put
off by these barriers. As in most cases the proposal was prepared by the European
counterparts, the extent to which these respondents had to grapple with the whole
process was, fortunately, limited.

Q10      What initiatives might help overcome these barriers?

        Committed funding from ARC for successful FP applicants
        A simple, understandable guide to the FP
        An Australian expert broker capability in Europe
        Simpler legal/IP requirements
        Simplify/shorten the information required in a proposal
        Seed funding to support project and consortium development
        Better publicity about FP, calls for proposals, etc
        Build on expertise of people who now the ropes
        Establishment of an Australian FP liaison team in Europe (staffed by
         researchers, not public servants) to pursue and identify opportunities – perhaps
         a role for the AVCC or Go8.




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                                               22



3.3    Workshops on Participation in FP6

Workshops were held in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra to explore perceptions
about Australian involvement in the EU Framework Programs. The Canberra
workshop audience consisted of university and CSIRO researchers, whereas the
Sydney and Melbourne workshops included university researchers and research
managers.

There was a general perception that Australia was under-investing in collaboration
with Europe and was generally complacent about the value of collaboration and the
challenges in pursuing it effectively. Some of the European researchers at the meeting
commented that the Australian researchers ‗feel isolated and have learnt to do good
research in, what is in comparison with Europe, a chronically under-funded research
system.‘ It was also argued that the links with Europe are diffuse and neither focused
(leading to deep engagement) nor strategic (pursuing areas of shared priorities or
strong complementarity).

Universities and CSIRO research managers frequently are not very well informed
about what their researchers are involved in, particularly with regard to international
collaboration. Researchers can initiate a lot of activities without needing, or bothering,
to inform the central offices. Proposals to have to be signed off, but that does not
mean that a comprehensive, readily usable list of FP-engaged researchers is available.

The experience of the CORDIS Workshop has driven home the message of how
limited our research information systems are in Australia, based on static information
on the ARC website, and the GAMS system, which is not much more than a proposal
mailing system. There should be some examination of the value and costs of setting
up a genuinely active searchable database to facilitate research linkages.

Research managers cannot play the role of brokers effectively; research collaboration
has to be initiated by researchers – they have to work out the appropriate fit of effort,
return and funding source. There is no way that FP could be sold to researchers given
that it involves a lot of effort and no prospect of funding, if they were not interested in
collaboration in the first place.

Responses to specific questions are included in Appendix 2

3.4    The ‘CORDIS’ Survey

During August 2004, FEAST organised a series of seminars in every State capital city
and Canberra to provide an introduction to the CORDIS gateway to research and
industry partnerships with Europe. The keynote speaker, Mr Declan Kirrane,
Managing Director, Innovation and Science Communication in Brussels provided not
only a guide through the complexities of CORDIS, but showed the audiences how to:
    find partners to cooperate with
    publish their own partner profile, technology offers and contacts
    follow European developments at the political, policy and program level.



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There was a very positive response to these events, with over 800 participants
registering to attend. As part of these seminars, FEAST carried out an evaluation
survey. The opportunity was seized to include a number of key questions concerning
Australian involvement in FP6 on the rear of the evaluation. The instrument is
included in the Methodology Appendix. In all some 253 valid responses were
captured.

Of these respondents, only 17 (7%) had been involved in any way with an FP6
project. The great majority clearly were attending the CORDIS workshops to learn
more about the EU FP.

Addressing first the small group who had been involved in FP6, not surprisingly the
great majority (11) placed a high priority on participating in an FP project, 5 rated
participation in FP a medium priority, and 2 a low priority.

With regard to the major impediments to their participation in an FP project, the
results were:

European components                                                         YES    NO
        Understanding the FP system                                         7      7
        Administrative requirements of FP applications                     11      5
        The contractual requirements/complexity                             9      6
        Finding appropriate European collaborators                          2     12
Australian components
        Availability of funding support                                     16    0
        Aust funding rounds not synchronised with FP                        11    3
        Information about FP                                                 7    7

The dominant and recurring barrier, in every review of Australian involvement in the
EU FPs, is the lack of a serious commitment by the Government, and the ARC (but
not the NHMRC for medical researchers) to targeting significant levels of support for
Australian researchers in FP projects. Every one of the FP participant respondents
rated this as a major impediment.

There are two other substantial impediments: the administrative requirements of FP
applications, which are long and complex, despite the pledge that FP6 would simplify
the bureaucratic requirements; and the fact that there is no correspondence, in time,
between FP funding rounds and ARC and IAP, now ISL, funding rounds.




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With regard to the question of ‘how do you expect your research would benefit from
involvement in an FP project, and what would be the scale of that benefit?’, the
responses were:
                                                          HIGH       MEDIUM        LOW
          Access to networks                                14             4       0

          Access to knowledge/expertise                     13             4       0

          Access to facilities                                6            8       2

          Access to funding                                   8            6       2

          Access to European companies/markets                8            6       2

          Demonstrating Australian capability               12             5       1

          International scientific reputation               10             3       0

Hence it is access to the networks, the knowledge and the technical expertise of
European researchers which is regarded as providing the greatest benefit from
involvement in an FP project. There is also a significant emphasis on demonstrating
Australian research capability, and promoting an international scientific reputation, so
that Australian researchers will be recognised and valued as important contributors to
European projects.

A range of measures were proposed that would make it easier for Australian
researchers to participate in an FP project:

By the EU
       on-line application procedures
       seed funding to attend project development workshops
       liberalisation of the policy to allow third countries access to direct funding
       a ‗dummies‘ guide to CORDIS
       an Australian mirror for on-line registration forms (these usually time out
          before we can complete the registration process)
       a clearer statement of IP conditions
       clarification of conditions under which Australian companies can access
          EU funds
       simpler proposal requirements, via a 2-round assessment.

By the Australian Government
        State agencies to be eligible for DEST funding
        linked Australian government grants
        seed funding to attend project development workshops
        expand FEAST e-newsletter, distilling and customising information for the
          Australian audience
        build flexible complementary funding mechanisms
        flexibility in workshop budgets: one-line to permit changes caused by
          shifting exchange rates, modifications

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                                              25


          getting correspondence between EU and DEST funding – eg NoEs run for
           5 years, but the current DEST round runs for only three years
          easier access to funds to support Australian organisations that have been
           successful in joining an FP – practically guaranteed subject to minimum
           review requirements
          synchronise better with EU – we had a 15 month delay on start of FP5
           project due to Australian administrative constraints.

Turning now to the 236 respondents who have not participated in an FP6 project, they
were further divided by a FEAST question on whether they were currently working
with European partners: 106 (45%) had active European partners and 124 (53%) did
not. Given the evidence of the importance of established links with European
researchers prior to seeking to join an FP project, this second set represents perhaps a
very considerable potential for future collaboration.

For those who have active partnerships, 41 (39%) placed a high priority on
participating in an FP project, 51 (48%) a medium priority, and 14 (13%) a low
priority. These data suggest a very high level of interest in the FP, indicating there
may be a very substantial increase in applications, and demand on Australian research
funds to support Australian involvement in FP projects.

With regard to the major impediments to their participation in an FP project, the
results were:

European components                                                         YES    NO
        Understanding the FP system                                        76     13
        Administrative requirements of FP applications                     70     11
        The contractual requirements/complexity                            68     13
        Finding appropriate European collaborators                         38     49
Australian components
        Availability of funding support                                     78    10
        Aust funding rounds not synchronised with FP                        39    27
        Information about FP                                                47    24

The major impediments for these would-be FP aspirants are again, funding support,
and understanding the FP system. There would appear to be significant opportunity to
build on the CORDIS workshop and expand the understanding of the FP system.
Other significant impediments are the administrative requirements of FP applications,
and contractual requirements. Again, these suggest further scope for education and
awareness raising processes, as well as continued and further progress towards
simplification of procedures.

What is also significant is that this group in general do not see the task of finding
appropriate collaborators as a major barrier.




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                                              26


The benefits expected from involvement in an FP project are:

                                                          HIGH       MEDIUM        LOW

          Access to networks                                68           24        4

          Access to knowledge/expertise                     68           26        2

          Access to facilities                              40           36       18

          Access to funding                                 58           28        9

          Access to European companies/markets              25           38       26

          Demonstrating Australian capability               57           25       11

          International scientific reputation               49           32        5

The results are remarkably similar to those of the FP participants – the greatest
anticipated benefits are in access to networks, knowledge and expertise. This group
who have not yet been involved in an FP project have a greater expectation of getting
access to funding – an expectation that might be sadly unrealised. There is also a
common view of the importance of demonstrating Australian capability and achieving
an international scientific reputation.

A range of measures was proposed that would make it easier for Australian
researchers to participate in an FP project:

By the EU
        direct funding of Australian component under FP
        information on projects so that contacts can be made
        improved familiarity with EU system
        additional support for identifying prospective partners
        inclusion of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
        longer lead-times on submission dates
        one-stop shop
        simplification of bureaucracy
        better information about projects
        better database for fishing industry stakeholders
        requirement to meet criteria of a minimum of 3 European participants is a
          major limitation
        issue specific calls to join funded projects as unfunded partners

By the Australian Government
        funding injected into the EU to facilitate direct funding
        DEST to link funding rounds and remove duplicate applications
        funding to initiate projects
        clear guidelines on what funding is available
        coordination of funding cycles
        better promotion of Australian research to Europe
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                                              27


          understanding the role of commercial partners
          better informed Research offices in the universities
          clear evidence of commitment
          travel funds to support visits to EU labs to develop applications
          best practice case studies
          remove problems of visas
          shift funds from DEST to ARC
          a partnership database like CORDIS
          ARC set up an NHMRC-like system for FP projects
          recognition of independent researchers as eligible for funding
          greater support for Australian-European Fellowships
          greater involvement of SMEs
          workshops related to each program
          appoint program managers like NSF.

Now, turning to the significant group of researchers and research managers without
European connections, their level of commitment to participating in an FP project was
lower than the other groups: 31 with a high priority, 61 with a medium priority and 19
with a low priority.

The major impediments to their participation in an FP project, which may well be
based on limited experience, are seen as:

European components                                                         YES    NO

          Understanding the FP system                                       84    21
          Administrative requirements of FP applications                    75    20
          The contractual requirements/complexity                           75    19
          Finding appropriate European collaborators                        79    24

Australian components
        Availability of funding support                                     95    11
        Aust funding rounds not synchronised with FP                        50    29
        Information about FP                                                57    32

While the same sort of barriers as identified by the other groups, such as funding, are
recognised, there is an understandable greater concern about finding appropriate
European collaborators. This presents a significant education and brokering
opportunity, to assist these potential collaborative researchers to build their links with
appropriate European researchers.




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The benefits expected from involvement in an FP project are:

                                                          HIGH       MEDIUM        LOW
          Access to networks                                96           15        2

          Access to knowledge/expertise                     68           20        2

          Access to facilities                              40           43       17

          Access to funding                                 51           44       11

          Access to European companies/markets              46           32       25

          Demonstrating Australian capability               58           39        9

          International scientific reputation               41           33       14

For this group, there is great promise in getting access to the networks of European
research.

A range of measures was proposed that would make it easier for Australian
researchers to participate in an FP project. In addition to the by now familiar themes
of committed funding, simpler processes, and greater facilitation, there were
suggestions for:

By the EU
        better IP arrangements
        help in finding appropriate research partners in Europe
        clearer information on what it is and how to participate
        review of Australian research achievements in CORDIS
        list of current participants in projects
        active post-doctoral exchange program
        more direct, specific information – I am new to the area

By the Australian Government
        faster responses to funding request (eg we finally got funding, but the
          opportunity had long ago moved on)
        ensure expert reviewers are aware of the priority placed on international
          collaboration
        greater sympathy in government agencies for EU engagement (policy and
          implementation vacuum in Europe
        a database of existing linkages between Australian and European research
          organisations
        Australian research funding schemes are chronically lethargic – 10 to11
          months from proposal to decision – this is absurd in a fast-moving world
        focussed workshops on theme areas
        large number of small grants for start-ups, so that new researchers can
          break into the game
        early career researcher programs.

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The strong theme that runs through the comments is of a new generation of emerging
researchers who may not have the close links with Europe that a previous generation
of researchers established through studying for their PhDs and visiting as post-
doctoral fellows in Europe. There may well be a need, and an opportunity, for a
variety of mechanisms to support the building of the bilateral links which appear to be
essential to subsequent success in FP proposals.

3.5    The EU Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the New Instruments of FP6

While the emphasis of this project has been on evaluation of FP6 from the Australian
perspective, relevant insights are available also from a European review. A mid-term
evaluation of the new instruments of FP6 has been conducted by an Expert Panel lead
by Dr Ramon Marimon. The report is largely supportive of FP6, as a ‗powerful means
to foster transnational collaborative research in the ERA‘, which therefore should be
maintained in FP7, but points to many shortcomings in design and implementation.
Principal among these are:

           clear classification of instruments according to the goals to which they are
            expected to contribute;
         while the EC should specify the portfolio of instruments and their strategic
            objectives, but participants should define the specific research objective
            and why the choice of instrument is appropriate;
         there has been an excessive emphasis on large scale, which in many cases
            has been counter-productive;
         there is a need to emphasise that IPs are primarily concerned with
            delivering new knowledge and competitive advantage to European
            industry
         a greater role must be played by instruments such as STREPs and small
            consortium IPs;
         the high cost of submitting proposals;
         variability and lack of transparency in evaluations;
         poor feedback on evaluation results; and
         the need for further simplification of administrative procedures and
            financial rules.
It has also been noted that international participation with Third Country researchers
does not rate a single mention in the Report.

3.6    Roundtable of Research Stakeholders

A roundtable of research-related organisation representatives (ARC, NHMRC,
CSIRO, AAS, ATSE, DITR, DEST and Australian Delegation of the CEC) was held
in Canberra on 7 September 2004 to discuss the major findings of the project. The
‗caretaker‘ provisions operating during the pre-election period somewhat limited
discussion.

The NHMRC representative reported that it has a limited fund to assist Australian
participation in projects selected for funding under the European Commission's Sixth
Framework programme. In the call for proposals, the health and medical research area
of specific interest to the NHMRC is ‗genomics and biotechnology for health‘.


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Where projects involving Australian researchers based in Australia are chosen for
funding, the Australian researchers may be eligible for NHMRC support. NHMRC
decisions include a consideration of national benefits, but accept the technical
assessment of the EC. In practice thus far, all such projects have been funded. The
NHMRC‘s Research Committee makes the funding decisions after receiving
notification of the outcomes from the European Union grants round.

The responsibility for submitting proposals to the European Union under the Sixth
Framework falls principally to the European partners. Australian researchers who are
members of projects being submitted to the EU, in any round under this Framework,
must notify the NHMRC and forward a copy of the final application submitted to the
European Union, to the NHMRC by the due date.

The ARC representative reported on the ARC Linkage International Scheme
Fellowships, which are awarded to early career postdoctoral and senior researchers
under reciprocal agreements with France, Germany and the Republic of Korea (South
Korea). They also drew attention to the Linkage International Awards, which support
strong ongoing collaborations between research groupings or centres of excellence in
Australia and overseas involving the exchange of researchers at both senior and junior
levels. Awards provide funds to Australian-based researchers towards the direct costs
of the collaboration.

The ARC does have one specifically targeted scheme; it is offering Awards in a
coordinated program with the US National Science Foundation in the field of
materials science.

It was noted that there is a substantial level of funding of European-linked research in
Australia, but the data are not collected or communicated. It was suggested that
FEAST could work with the appropriate agencies to develop an accurate and effective
database of European-linked research. In addition, if collaboration with European
research were accepted as a national priority, both data collection and research would
be more effective if it was linked to infrastructure funding.

It was also noted that most of Europe is not aware of the capability and interests of
Australian researchers. This problem could be addressed by a concerted effort, led by
FEAST, to incorporate this information into the CORDIS website.




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4       Findings and Recommendations

        Technological innovation creates the jobs of tomorrow; research creates those
        of the day after tomorrow19

The role of science and technology in international relations has been significantly
transformed in the past twenty years, leading to new collaborative and competitive
relationships with foreign policy.

One driver has emerged from the soaring capital and infrastructure demands of
science itself. Research fields like optical and radio astronomy and high-energy
physics demand a vast capital investment and create competitive demand for access to
a particular observational/experimental opportunity. Hence scientists have led
governments towards the need to collaborate in the funding and management of
'megascience' infrastructure. This saw the emergence of new modes of multilateral
government decision-making, investment, and acceptance of 'arms-length'
management and influence.

A very different driver arose with the emergence of the global knowledge economy
and the recognition of the central role of active knowledge management in
international competitiveness. S&T were no longer arcane activities to be wheeled out
for diplomatic initiatives. Rather, they were at the heart of mainstream economic and
trade performance - the powerhouse of national economies. If research could be
commercialised, technology transferred and intellectual property captured and
exploited, national economies would flourish.

Furthermore, addressing a whole range of new challenges requires some level of
scientific or technological input or understanding. Thus, the science and technology
system:
        provides a necessary input into the wide range of crucial decisions about
        national security interests (whether geopolitical, technological, trade, or
        biological) diplomatic relations, treaty negotiation, regulation, health care,
        environmental conservation, industrial competitiveness - the list is virtually
        endless.20

A third driver has been the growing awareness of a range of issues with an inherently
global character; ie by their very nature, they transcend national boundaries.
Examples include most obviously global warming, but also world fish stocks,
epidemic control, maintenance of biodiversity, conflict over food and water supply,
human migration, and in the current context, global terrorism.

In response, new patterns of international scientific cooperation are emerging, a
particular feature of which has been the establishment of a variety of international
consortia-based, -led and -operated research and research-supporting programs and

19
   Speech by the His Excellency Ambassador Dino Volpicelli, FEAST 4 – Canberra 13 Nov. 2003
20
  Johnston, R., 'Remaking National Science Policy and Public Sector Research for the 21 st Century',
Chapter 3 in Ewer, p., (ed) For the Common Good: CSIRO and Public Sector Research and
Development, Pluto Press, Sydney, 1995.
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                                                    32


projects. The EU Framework Programs represent the biggest concerted drive to build,
and build on, strong international cooperation in research and technology
development, predominantly within Europe, but also with other international partners.

A major study21 into Canada‘s approach to international S&T highlighted reasons
why effective international S&T collaboration is important to researchers, companies
and government. It suggested that:

      researchers need to collaborate and exchange scientific information with
       researchers in other countries in order to stay abreast of the latest scientific
       development, gain access to the best equipment, facilities and talent, and to
       participate in large-scale research projects that are beyond the ability of individual
       countries to finance alone;

      companies need to be able to acquire information regarding new technologies
       from around the world – both for the purposes of competitive intelligence and for
       use in developing their own new products and services — and to carry out R&D
       activities with the best possible partners; and

      governments need to participate in and contribute to international S&T forums in
       order to be well informed in order to make good decisions regarding science based
       issues and to develop appropriate scientific protocols, codes and standards. It
       could also be argued that participation in international S&T forums allows
       governments to become smarter purchasers of new technology.

4.1        The Priority Attached by Australian Researchers to Participation in FP

The results presented above show first of all that Australian researchers place, on
average, a medium to high priority on working with European researchers. This
finding is supported by all the data about the growth of collaboration between
Australian and European researchers.

The priority is strong, but less so, to work within an FP. This is hardly surprising, for
at its simplest, the FP is just a funding mechanism. Thus, an Australian researcher will
regard winning an ARC grant as important, both for funding and prestige, but would
hardly express a strong research priority as obtaining ARC funding – it is the research
itself that matters, and funding is a means to that end.

Of course, in practice, the FP is much more than a funding mechanism. Or, more
pertinently for Australian researchers who do not receive funding from the FP (except
as sub-contractors), it is not a funding mechanism at all, except to the extent that it
may confer favourable leverage in obtaining funding in Australia. But it is a
mechanism for gaining access to the strengths, the scale, the international perspective
and the industrial connectedness of European research and technology development.
The benefits will be explored further in Section 4.4.

It should be emphasised that the level of these priorities is largely set by individual
researchers or research teams. The Australian approach to linkage with European

21
     Cited in Allen Consulting, op cit, p.99.
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research remains largely ‗bottom-up‘, driven by the interests of the researchers. With
a few marked exceptions, universities and research organisations have not established
strategic objectives or targets with regard to engagement with European research.

It is worth noting, that while respondents without linkages into Europe had a lower
level of commitment than those with established connections, the great majority
(83%) rated participating in an FP project as a high or medium priority. Here is a
group, quite likely a new generation of researchers, with high potential to engage in
international research but, as yet, without the necessary ‗complementary assets‘ of
established relationships necessary to achieve this potential. This represents a clear
policy challenge and opportunity.

4.2        Factors Leading to Inclusion of Australian Researchers in FP Projects

The absolutely overwhelming determinant of inclusion of Australian researchers in FP
projects is prior, well-established relationships with European researchers/research
teams. Australian researchers are rarely proactive in trying to set up a bid for an FP
project, and it would be extremely difficult to do so from Australia. Rather, they are
invited to join FP-focussed consortia because, through their established linkages, the
European initiators can see how the Australians can add significant value to their
proposal, and to conduct of the project.

There are a number of ways through which Australian researchers develop these
linkages. Perhaps the most efficient is the ‗import‘ ie attraction of European
researchers to work in Australian institutions – they bring their European networks,
and often their knowledge of the FP systems with them.

Australian-born researchers establish their linkages to Europe through studying for
their PhDs in Europe, or post-doctoral attachments, or sabbaticals or meeting at
conferences. All of these activities require financial support for travel. And because
Australia is so far away from Europe, the level of travel expenditure by Australian
researchers must be higher, per capita, than for Europeans.

This suggests there is a need to significantly expand the level of support for research
travel by Australian researchers, particularly in the early stages of careers. Forming
international alliances in this way can play a crucial role in engagement in the global
knowledge economy.

4.3        FP Structure and Instruments

The structure and instruments of FP6 have been the subject of vigorous critique in
Europe. There has been considerable dissatisfaction within the UK research
community, and particularly in industry, with the new FP6 instruments for large-scale
collaboration, and the lack of consultation in the introduction of these Program
changes. However, there was substantial support for the instruments that facilitate
mobility of researchers, although even in this case there was criticism of the changes
in these instruments introduced in FP622.


22
     UK, Select Committee on Science and Technology. Sixth Report. July, 2003
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Similar criticisms have been made of the extent of ‗top down‘ direction of research
and arguing for a return to greater levels of funding on the basis of excellence and
with less ‗red tape‘23.

A recent review of the Impact of the EU Framework Programmes in the UK24 reached
several conclusions of direct relevance to Australia. First, the review (the most
extensive carried out of UK participation in FP programmes) concluded that major
benefits that participants gain from participation are more in the dimensions of
networking and knowledge than in the dimensions of commercial or competitive
benefits. In view of the costs and complexities of participation this has led to a
declining interest by UK firms in the Framework Programmes.

        Projects performed best on networking and knowledge creation and least well
        on the more tangible and commercial objectives. Academic and industry
        participants reported medium to high levels of impact on their organisation’s
        competitive position, both nationally and internationally. However, few
        reported discernible project impacts on turnover, profitability or market
        share...For most, the benefits outweigh the costs. However, businesses report
        less favourable cost/benefit ratios than do universities or public research
        institutes, with the situation being worst for SMEs. (p. viii)

        There is a downward trend evident in the number of businesses involved and
        in their share of participations. Even ‘core’ industry players are reducing
        their involvement, and the situation looks set to worsen under FP6. For most
        UK business participants, the cost/benefit ratio is finely balanced and
        increasing levels of bureaucracy and less relevant topics and instruments are
        tipping that balance. (p. ix)

Second, the review found from an extensive survey of UK participants that the new
large-scale instruments are generally not seen as having been effective and that there
is a strong case for their reform in FP7.

        Participants believe that the introduction of Networks of Excellence (NoEs)
        and Integrated Projects (IPs) as the primary instruments has been a
        retrograde step. Whilst most support the ideas in principle, many believe that,
        as implemented, the instruments have been wasteful and will not lead to a
        more efficient or more effective programme. ( p.x.)

Third, the review makes a strong case for substantial improvements in the support
mechanisms and funding for UK research groups and firms seeking to participate in
FP Programs.

        There was a low level of understanding of what help is available to
        prospective applicants in the UK... Experienced participants want early and
        high quality intelligence on calls and assistance with tailored searches for


23
  The Scientist. 18(16) August, 2004.
24
  The Impact of the EU Framework Programmes in the UK An independent report for the Office of
Science and Technology by Technopolis Limited July 2004

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       partners. The less experienced want close support, or mentorship, to help them
       navigate the application and contract negotiation processes. (p.xi)

       Participants would welcome more widespread use of a two-stage process to
       reduce abortive bidding costs. .... The financial rules are almost unfathomable
       and the cost models are punitive. Contracting processes are described as
       unnecessarily complicated, with information presented in proposals having to
       be recast in different formats for the purposes of a contract. (p. xii)

The Integrated Projects instrument, designed to support large 3-5 year projects was
the most favoured among Australian FP6 applicants. It provides the benefits of being
in a substantial project, but there are costs in setting up and managing all the
communication and negotiation processes necessary to design the bid and establish
the project.

The Marie Curie Fellowship instrument, designed to promote researcher mobility is
highly regarded. It appears that Australia won a significant proportion of the available
‗slots‘, but there was a wide-held view that the number should be increased further,
perhaps based on a significant contribution to this instrument by the ARC and
NHMRC.

The Specific Targeted Research Projects (STREP) might appear to be a more
appropriate instrument for Australian involvement in the FP, particularly at the early
stages of a research program development, as it is smaller in scope and number of
partners, and simpler to administer. However these formed only 13% of all Australian
FP applications.

There were a similar number of applications under the Networks of Excellence
instrument, which is designed to network a critical mass of resources and expertise
around a joint program of activities aimed at creating a durable integration of the
research capacities of the network, while advancing knowledge. These provide the
opportunity for Australian researchers to join major projects and consortia, although
in such a large grouping there is always the danger that the Australian involvement
might be fairly marginal.

4.4    Benefits from Involvement in the FP

All the respondents to the various instruments used in this study (with the exception
of the one who confessed to being seduced by the excitement of being part of an FP
project, and not realising the only part was as an escape destination) reported
significant benefits achieved, or anticipated, from involvement in an FP project.

The survey of FP5 participants indicated a high level of satisfaction with the quality
of the collaboration, and more than half the projects generating IP and publications.

FP6 successful partners consider increased funding, and developing enhanced
knowledge and expertise as the major benefits to arise from their FP participation.
These issues were also important for researchers who had not taken part in an FP
project, though with a lesser emphasis on funding. The latter group also saw
considerable benefit from the opportunity to demonstrate Australian capability and to

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enhance their international scientific reputation. There were also direct practical
benefits such as attracting good PhD students, and research staff.

Some respondents pointed to broader and more intangible benefits, such as being in
touch with the profound changes in the organisation, funding and perceived
importance of research that are occurring in Europe. Some researchers suggested that
large collaborative FP projects, such as IP and NOEs in particular, provide
opportunities to work in new modes of large-scale collaborative research organisation.
There were also suggestions that the FPs are pursuing new approaches to building
bridges between research and application and in fact explicitly building learning about
more effective application of new knowledge into the scope of learning about how to
do research. Again, it was argued, this offers opportunities to participate in and learn
about new modes of research.

4.5     Impediments to Involvement in the FP

The list of impediments is familiar and recurring. The lack of a systematic and
significant commitment by the Australian Government to supporting Australian
researchers in establishing linkages and conducting research is seen as the single,
outstanding barrier, sending the signal that these efforts are not valued very highly.

The demand for IAP, now ISL, Program funds alone demonstrates that researchers are
identifying international S&T cooperation opportunities in priority areas that
Australia is not able to take up without a major increase in funds for international
S&T activities. Without the funding to enable Australian researchers to become
involved in these sorts of projects, the recognition of Australia as a significant player
in international S&T is likely to diminish, and with it, the competitiveness of our
economy.

The recent review of the IAP-IST concluded that it does not have sufficient resources
‗for the demand and nature of activities undertaken‘, and that, in view of the
demonstrated effectiveness of the programme, an increase in funding would generate
increased benefits25. The report also argued that changes in the targeting of funding
would generate additional benefits. In particular, the report recommended:
     a greater focus on enabling young researchers to establish international
        networks;
     greater support to enable Australian researchers to participate in the planning
        of new major international projects; and
     increased support for Australian participation in bilateral and multilateral
        agreements.

A range of impediments results from the complex structures, procedures and
accountability requirements of the FPs. However, pressure from European researchers
is likely to be far more effective in achieving the desired simplification than
complaints from a third country like Australia.



25
  The Allen Consulting Group, ‘Evaluation of the Innovation Access Program – International Science
and Technology‘, Dec. 2003.

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Knowing about and understanding the FP system remains a major barrier, particularly
for younger researchers. The extraordinarily high levels of attendance at the CORDIS
seminars reveal a strong and unmet demand to learn how to effectively ―crack it into
Europe‖. With a new generation of researchers emerging, it is imperative to continue
and expand the efforts of FEAST and others to increase awareness and to facilitate the
formation of international teams and the preparation of bids.

4.6    Initiatives to Overcome the Impediments

A small number of initiatives would significantly increase the opportunities for
Australian researchers to participate in and benefit from EU Framework Programmes.

Support for International Collaboration

 The case has been made that an increase in the level of funding for international
collaboration would increase Australian participation in leading international research
(Section 1.1). The case for specific targeting of FP projects is particularly strong.
These build on excellence in national research systems in Europe and in many cases
mirror Australia‘s research priorities. The precedent is well established, with the
targeted support of the ARC for research in a specific field with US collaborators.

The Status of ‗Third Country‘ within the Framework Programs has significant
limitations. Access to EU funds is effectively prohibited, and special consideration of
interests or capabilities is not accorded. However, this would still appear to be the
most effective basis for the relationship between European and Australian researchers.
‗Associate Country‘ status would require a huge commitment of Australian research
funds into the competitive European pool, with limited prospects, given the
difficulties of distance, from achieving the ‗juste retour‘, let alone an anticipated,
more then ‗juste retour‘.

Participation in FP research is likely to generate increasing returns for the research
group and for Australia, as access to evolving networks and high quality research
projects increases the opportunities for future collaboration. While the benefits of
collaboration to the quality of research can be substantial, these benefits come at a
cost - usually involving sustained investments of time, effort and funds. Where the
development of proposals becomes complex, where the funding mechanisms are
opaque or inflexible, and the likelihood of securing of funding low, the balance of
incentive can quickly shift into the negative.

Both the NHMRC in Australia, and the International Opportunities Program of the
Canadian Institutes of Health Research, provide a rapid assessment of proposals for
participation in successful FP projects without a domestic peer review process. In
order to provide additional incentives for both European and Australian
researchers to develop proposals for collaboration, the ARC and ISL should follow
this model, at least on a trial basis. In addition the ISL process should be modified in
order to provide detailed feedback to applicants on the reasons for their evaluation
scores on the various criteria for assessment.




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Coordination of International Collaboration

There is also a case for stronger coordination of efforts to fund and promote
cooperation. FEAST has made a useful start, but is limited in budget and capability.
FEAST should be appropriately resourced to act as a coordinating body, in
partnership with Commonwealth agencies, universities, the Academies, and
industry. An early priority would be the development of an overall strategy for
participation in FP7 and the priorities for fields of collaboration.

Investing in the Foundations for Collaboration

Collaboration is built on prior personal links and shared interests. The key investment
for the future is in enabling researcher mobility, particularly for early stage
researchers. While this happened in the past more frequently as Australians travelled
abroad to complete PhDs and post-doctoral fellowships, today this mobility probably
requires more explicit support. A similarly important investment is in recruiting
Europeans to participate in Australian research. We note that the extent to which
proposed Research Networks, CRCs and Centres of Excellence provide opportunities
for young researchers to develop international links is often taken into account in
assessing such proposals.

Supporting the Development of Collaboration in FP Projects

Finding partners, learning about opportunities for collaboration in specific initiatives,
participating in the development of proposals and preparing proposals for funding
from Australia are all resource-intensive activities. Larger research groups with
established links can sometimes fund these investments on the side of other activities.
But a lack of support for search and proposal development activities can lead to
conservative or minimalist approaches to developing collaboration.

Funding for such activities is often already a component of the support for research
networks, CRCs and Centre of Excellence – and should also be an aspect of the
evaluation of their performance. But outside of these groups and among firms there is
a need for a flexible support mechanism to share the costs of developing
collaboration. A useful exemplar here is the Canadian ‗Going Global S&T Fund‘
which provides support of up to 50% of eligible expenses to a total of $50,000 on a
competitive basis, with a particular focus on initiatives by groups, networks or
consortia of organisations.

The Australian Government already provides significant seed support for the
development of collaboration via the Science Linkages Program. We emphasise the
importance of maintaining, and continuing to develop and promote mechanisms
that reduce the costs and barriers to engaging in the early steps of network and
collaboration development.

Raising Awareness

There is evidence of an increasing awareness of the importance of investing in a
significant liaison capability in Europe. The recent decisions by DEST to locate full-
time S&T Counsellors in Brussels and Paris, and by the Go8 to establish the

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Australia Centre for Europe in Berlin are positive initiatives. There are clearly
substantial opportunities to promote Australian research and to learn about
collaboration opportunities in Brussels.

Many European countries have established R&D liaison offices in Brussels, eg the
French liaison office, CLORA, includes representation from 36 different French
research organisations. The UKRO, established by the U.K. Research Councils and
the British Council is linked to over 110 universities and research organisations in the
UK. Together, the R&D Liaison Offices form the Informal Group of R&D Liaison
Offices (IGLO), which meets regularly to exchange information, promote
collaboration and encourage participation in the EU research programs.

FEAST has been a useful initiative to raise awareness among Australian researchers
of the opportunities for collaboration with Europe and among European researchers of
Australian research strengths. Both its activities and its resources need to be
increased, as recommended by the independent evaluation for CEC. Its role should
also be expanded, in particular to raise awareness of the outcomes of FP research in
order to raise the level of benefit in Australia of FP research. In association with the
expanded role of FEAST, there should be greater efforts to encourage Australians to
register as assessors for FP evaluations, and to place research profiles on the CORDIS
website.

There is likely to be value in focussed efforts to raise awareness of opportunities. We
suggest that the agencies that support and facilitate research collaboration, in
association with FEAST, establish mechanisms to identify emerging S&T areas
with major collaborative potential, and to facilitate the formation of research
clusters within Australia and with Europe.

Some of these selected areas will be those where there are strong linkages between
research and industry in Australia, and hence in these cases there will be additional
opportunities to assist industry to assess the possible benefits of collaboration with
European research and or industry.

There would also be value in expanding the role of FEAST to facilitate awareness
not only of the development of opportunities for collaboration but also of the
outcomes of European research projects of possible relevance to Australia. In
addition there would be value in preparing a set of ‗best practice case studies‘ of
Australian participation in both EU FP projects and bilateral European projects in
order to provide exemplars for other groups seeking to participate in such
collaborations. Some of these case studies should include industrial firms.

4.7     An Australian Position on the EU FP7

The CEC has released a discussion document addressing the significant issues that
should shape the Seventh Framework Program.26 This report, in the context of the
Lisbon objectives of increasing European research effort to 3% of GDP by 2010,
identifies six major objectives:


26
  CEC, ‗Science and Technology: The Key to Europe‘s Future; Guidelines for Future European Union
Policy to Support Research‘, Com(2004) 353 final, Brussels, 16 June 2004.
                      Australian Centre for Innovation Ltd, ABN 28 055 715 752
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                                     Website http://www.aciic.org.au
                                              40


      Creating European centres of excellence through collaboration between
       laboratories
      Launching European technological initiatives
      Stimulating the creativity of basic research through competition between
       teams at European level
      Making Europe more attractive to the best researchers
      Developing research infrastructures of European interest
      Improving the coordination of national research programs.

In addition, two key topics for future investment are identified: space and security.
The latter is one of the Australian Government‘s research priorities, and could provide
the focus of a concerted collaborative research program.

It would be timely for DEST to bring together all the key Australian stakeholders in
collaborative research with Europe to develop a concerted strategy for building and
publicising more effective relationships with Europe, and more effective
exploitation of the opportunities offered by the EU Framework Programs.




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                                              41


Appendix 1                               Methodology

This project required a multi-component methodology, in order to gather information
and perspectives in an area in which data collection has previously been shown to be
difficult.

The key elements of the methodology were:

      interviews with key informants, in particular the staff of the Australian
       delegation of the CEC who had privileged access to EU data;

      a review of all previous surveys and evaluations of the FPs;

      examination of the findings of a survey of Australian and EU participants in
       FP5 projects with Australian partners;

      privileged access to a list of FP6 First Call proposals;

      obtaining a commitment from the CEC officials to negotiate release of contact
       details of FP6 proposals; while this was successful for proposals that had been
       retained for funding, or placed on reserve, the lack of information beyond the
       institution, and a title, made it practically impossible to identify FP6 proposers
       within the time frame of the project;

      drawing on a detailed analysis of IMS projects funded through the EU FP4
       and FP5 recently completed by one of the authors for DITR;

      development of a survey instrument;

      telephone interviews with successful FP6 applicants, using Instrument A;

      arrangement for distribution and collection of a 1-page survey to attendees at
       the series of CORDIS seminars held around Australia in August 2004 –
       Instrument B;

      workshops in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne to which researchers and
       research managers from the major universities and research organisations were
       invited; the response was disappointingly small;

      analysis of responses to interviews, survey and workshops;

      preparation of draft report;

      a roundtable in Canberra with major stakeholders from research funding and
       performing organisations;

      preparation of final report.



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                                             42


Appendix 2                     Individual Responses to Issues Raised in the
                               Workshops

Why is Collaboration with the EU Attractive?

      EU programs are attractive because of the high quality of the research. Many
       research groups have low level international collaboration via personal links,
       networks etc., but are looking for mechanisms to take this collaboration
       further.
      For some researchers (eg CSIRO) EU programs offer a route to link with
       European industry, and to demonstrate Australian capability.
      Accessing funding is not a motivation – rather it is investment in collaboration
       and the challenge is to use all funding opportunities to pursue this. Many
       researchers use existing / ‗normal‘ funding to further collaboration.
      We need to be in touch with the international research forefront and
       demonstrating our capability. With all the investment in the US and Europe,
       Australia could so easily slip off the global research map.

Major Impediments to Collaboration

      In most cases of collaboration Australian researchers are invited to join
       consortia and then must seek funding. Very few Australian groups go looking
       for partners.
      There is a lack of support for facilitation – ie support to develop proposals,
       and collaboration. There was some strong criticism of the IAP, in particular
       that it was not transparent, the timing was not ‗in synch‘ with the FP and it did
       not provide useful feedback.
      The ARC programs are ‗not aligned‘ with FP6 and are too focused on basic
       research – the NHMRC model should be adopted. It was strongly put by one
       researcher that the perceived low probability of success in finding Australian
       funding, along with the lack of useful feedback on the reasons for lack of
       success, was a strong disincentive to developing collaboration.
      The approach to funding for collaboration is overwhelming process-oriented
       with little concern with the ultimate outputs and no real knowledge of what
       was being achieved or what could be achieved.
      Being an active member of a major program and making the most of the
       opportunities that present requires a substantial amount of effort to keep up
       with the communications, to travel to meetings, etc.
      As the foundation of collaboration is personal links it is largely individuals
       who must learn about the mechanisms and processes. However, there are
       some cases of very useful roles at the organisation level to encourage and
       support collaboration – eg UNSW.
      As most Australian collaboration is through insertion into proposals that
       originate in Europe, few have to deal with the EU bureaucracy.
      Establishing effective working relationships with European research teams is
       the first and essential prerequisite for applying for FP funding
      When FP funding is less than requested, marginal members like Australian
       researchers, even though they are not part of the budget, can tend to be pushed
       aside


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                                              43


      The ARC Linkage–International scheme has too many limitations to be useful
       or effective
      Deliverables required are very demanding for an FP project
      Sub-contracts are much simpler, but you give away any IP, and don‘t get
       access to the project IP
      There is a real problem of lagged funding; in one case, ARC funding was not
       obtained until 1.5 years after the joint project started, and the Australian team
       had not been involved in the review meetings etc, which severely hampered
       extracting value from the collaboration
      The CEC does a great job on communication; why is DEST not nearly as
       committed?
      Language of the ISL program doesn‘t immediately communicate the
       possibility of support for FP projects
      Focus of granting schemes are on process and probity rather than as a learning
       opportunity – need to invest a lot more in providing detailed feedback to
       applicants


Measures that would Facilitate Collaboration

      Recognition that collaboration evolves from personal links and identification
       of complementarities and shared interests. These will often develop via
       bilateral links and hence a broad investment in linkage development is
       required.
      Becoming involved as assessors offers opportunities for Australians to learn
       about European research, research groups and EU processes.
      Build greater collaboration with Europe through the ARC Research Networks
      There is a need for a seeding fund to assist in setting up collaborative projects
      The focus of Government programs should be on strengthening bilateral
       research linkages as a way to build up capability and networks in preparation
       to enter FP eg provide support for researcher (and research manager) exchange
      the Government should commit new funds which should still be competitive
       but also allow for out-of-round allocation; also adopt the NHMRC model of
       accepting the results of the FP decision process
      Value of some independent Australian consulting capacity to help prepare and
       manage proposals

Instruments

      Often a lot easier to make progress with the more focused instruments such as
       Marie Curie than the large network projects.
      No clear understanding of the precise purpose and requirements for each
       instrument, beyond the notion that some are for big and some for small
       projects.

Benefits from Collaboration

      The new modes of research that are evolving in Europe facilitated by the EU
       are exciting and challenging, and offer the potential for developing new
       directions and new insights. In particular, the large projects are very different

                    Australian Centre for Innovation Ltd, ABN 28 055 715 752
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                                   Website http://www.aciic.org.au
                                          44


    from the organisation of research in Australia and offer the opportunity to
    learn both about collaboration in such large communities and more inter-
    disciplinary research.
   Many of the major projects bring together leading researchers in substantial
    research efforts and these are charting new territory not only in terms of
    knowledge but also in terms of collaborative relationships. It is very
    important to be an insider in these groups.
   Very positive benefits of getting access to the latest thinking, good PhD
    students, top quality research, and a bigger picture than you can ever get in
    Australia.
   We want our universities to be recognised as internationally competitive, so
    that we can attract top staff and students. Not so much for the money, which
    all gets spent on the research process anyway (plus more!), but for the
    standing. But of course the researchers are motivated by their ideas.




                Australian Centre for Innovation Ltd, ABN 28 055 715 752
            Tel 02-9351-3934 Fax 02-9351-3974 Email rj@aciic.eng.usyd.edu.au
                               Website http://www.aciic.org.au
                                              45



Appendix 3                      Instrument A

                     Australian Involvement in the
               European Union’s Framework Programme
             for Research and Technological Development

                              SURVEY of FP6 applicants

  Name:
  Institution:
  Outcome of FP6 application
  Instrument
  (information available from CEC database)
  __________________________________________________________


  1a How important is engagement with the EU FP to you, or your team‘s research.

                                         Extremely                                 □
                                         Moderately                                □
                                         Little or none                            □

  1b How important is engagement with the European researchers to you, or your
     team‘s research.

                                         Extremely                                 □
                                         Moderately                                □
                                         Little or none                            □

  2a What proportion of your, or your team‘s research budget or activity has been
     linked to projects under the EU FP over the past three years?       ___%

  2b What proportion of your, or your team‘s research budget or activity has been
     linked to European projects over the past three years?              ___%

  3a What proportion of your, or your team‘s research budget or activity do you
     expect to be linked to projects under the EU FP
     over the next three years?                                          ___%

  3b What proportion of your, or your team‘s research budget or activity do you
     expect to be linked to European projects over the next three years? ___%

  4   Which instruments in the FP are most appropriate to you?
                   Marie Curie                                              □
                   Integrated Projects                                      □
                   Networks of Excellence                                   □
                   Specific targeted research                               □
                   Coordinated Actions                                      □
                   Don’t Know                                               □
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                Tel 02-9351-3934 Fax 02-9351-3974 Email rj@aciic.eng.usyd.edu.au
                                   Website http://www.aciic.org.au
                                      46


5 What factors have been important in your being
  involved in an FP project?
                            Established links                              □
                            Key expertise                                  □
                            Key infrastructure                             □
                            Key data/techniques                            □
                            Funding support                                □

6.   What have been the major benefits for your research program?
                            Enhanced knowledge/expertise         □
                            Being part of an international team □
                            Leverage on larger investment        □
                            Increased funding                    □
                            Access to other networks             □
                            Other _________________________□

7. What are the major barriers to your involvement in an FP project?
                    Lack of dedicated funding                     □
                    Bureaucratic complexity                       □
                    Structure of FP                               □
                    Difference in timing of funding schemes       □
                    Lack of a partner brokering service           □
                    Time and money costs                          □
                    Lack of support from your organisation        □
                    Other ______________________________ □

8. What initiatives might help overcome these impediments? ________
__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________




            Australian Centre for Innovation Ltd, ABN 28 055 715 752
        Tel 02-9351-3934 Fax 02-9351-3974 Email rj@aciic.eng.usyd.edu.au
                           Website http://www.aciic.org.au
                                                            47


           Appendix 4                                  Instrument B

                                                The CORDIS Survey

            Review of Australian Involvement in the European Union
     Framework Program (FP) for Research and Technology Development

The information sought here will provide an input to the above review being conducted by the Australian Centre
for Innovation, commissioned by the Department of Education, Science and Training under the International
Science Linkages Program. All information provided will be treated confidentially and reported in aggregate form
only.

Q1         Have you or your research group participated in an FP project?                  YES  NO 

Q2         What priority do you place on participating in an FP project?

                            HIGH             MEDIUM                   LOW        

Q3         What are the major impediments to your participation in an FP project?

           European components                                                            YES      NO
                  Understanding the FP system                                                     
                  Administrative requirements of FP applications                                  
                  The contractual requirements/complexity                                         
                  Finding appropriate European collaborators                                      

           Australian components
                   Availability of funding support                        
                   Aust funding rounds not synchronised with FP           
                   Information about FP                                   
                   Other – please specify__________________________________________
                      ____________________________________________________________


Q4         What measures would make it easier for you to participate in an FP project?
           By the EU:____________________________________________________________
           _____________________________________________________________________
           _____________________________________________________________________
           By the Australian Government:____________________________________________
           _____________________________________________________________________
           _____________________________________________________________________


Q5         If you have knowledge of the various FP ’instruments’, which one/s are most suitable
           for your needs and
           interests:_________________________________________________




                                 Australian Centre for Innovation Ltd, ABN 28 055 715 752
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                                                Website http://www.aciic.org.au
                                                   48


Q6   How do you expect your research would benefit from involvement in an FP project,
     and what would be the scale of that benefit?

                                                               HIGH       MEDIUM        LOW
               access to networks                                                     

               access to knowledge/expertise                                          

               access to facilities                                                   

               access to funding                                                      

               access to European companies/markets                                   

               demonstrating Australian capability                                    

               international scientific reputation                     
               other (please specify)___________________________________________
                ____________________________________________________________
                ____________________________________________________________




                         Australian Centre for Innovation Ltd, ABN 28 055 715 752
                     Tel 02-9351-3934 Fax 02-9351-3974 Email rj@aciic.eng.usyd.edu.au
                                        Website http://www.aciic.org.au

				
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