DIGITALEUROPE recommendations on the R&I partnerships framework
The governance of public-private partnerships shall reflect the key role and contributions of the industry by making sure that the Commission – and where applicable, Member States – share the decision-making powers with private partners. In general, the industry should be more involved throughout the whole life cycle of partnerships.
Requiring the industry to participate with both in-kind and financial contributions will significantly reduce industry participation in Horizon Europe. Raising cash is always very difficult for private partners, especially SMEs. In-kind contributions are preferred as they are easier to be made available by private companies. Financial contributions should be avoided, and, in any case, they shall not be aggregated and used to fund R&I activities (no ‘common pot’).
Further capping on the partnerships’ budget would endanger the whole partnership landscape without simplifying it. Streamlining and simplification should be done on a case-by-case basis, following extensive assessment. Further capping the budget may lead to the termination of existing partnerships or activities that are crucial to Europe’s growth and competitiveness.
The decision to select a specific type of partnership shall be carefully and jointly assessed to ensure relevance for the objectives set by both public sector and industry. No types of partnerships should be favoured over others (e.g. institutionalised partnerships over co-programmed). There are currently no clear criteria explaining why a specific type of partnership is preferred over another and there is uncertainty on the commitments expected from the industry for each partnership type.
The digital industry stands ready to support the co-creation activities and shall be involved throughout the preparatory processes to set-up the partnerships.