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The European Commission launched a new Policy Support Facility (PSF) designed to help EU member states reform their research and innovation systems. Member states are given practical support to identify, implement and evaluate those reforms needed to enhance the quality of their public funding. With this new instrument, a panel of senior experts and officials from other governments are appointed to conduct a peer review of the target country and, based on their analysis, provide their recommendations.
Research and innovation (R&I) were identified in the 2015 Annual Growth Survey as one of the main priorities for EU Member States as they work towards boosting investment and creating more jobs. I this context, the PSF was set up as an instrument to help partner countries better align with EU policies. The new Facility is funded under Horizon 2020, the EU research innovation programme, with up to EUR 20 million.
Bulgaria is the first member state to make use of the PSF; recommendations will be made to improve their research careers and public funding of research, among others. Hungary is next in line for a peer review later this year.