[caption align="alignnone" width="800"]Professor Paul Boyle, PhD, President of Science Europe, and Nick Fowler, PhD, Managing Director of Academic and Government Institutions at Elsevier, present the report at the launch event in Brussels.[/caption] Collaboration is necessary to grapple with the world’s problems, and research is an important way to bring great minds together from around the world.
[caption align="alignright" width="200"]Download the report.[/caption]This kind of collaboration was behind a new report by
Professor Paul Boyle, President of Science Europe, and Dr. Nick Fowler, Managing Director of Academic and Government Institutions at Elsevier, presented the findings Monday at Science Europe’s headquarters in Brussels.
The report presents basic but critical information about the collaboration and mobility of researchers, which will allow us to better understand the research landscape and how it evolves. The findings will be useful to a wide range of professionals, from individual researchers to universities and institutes that hire researchers, and organizations and government agencies that fund research.
Why research collaboration is a priority in Europe
The facilitation of collaboration has a positive impact not only on the science conducted but on broader objectives, from enhancing domestic prosperity to addressing specific challenges.
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Science EuropeScience Europe is an association of European Research Funding Organizations (RFO) and Research Performing Organizations (RPO), based in Brussels. Its founding General Assembly took place in Berlin in October 2011. Science Europe promotes the collective interests of the Research Funding and Research Performing Organizations of Europe. It supports its Member Organizations in their efforts to foster European research and aims to strengthen the European Research Area (ERA) through direct engagement with key partners.[/note]
This is why promoting research collaboration has become a priority in the European Union. This goal has also prompted the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quin, to build the European Research Area (ERA), which aims to ensure the free circulation of researchers, knowledge, ideas and technology across Europe.
Research collaboration and mobility are key topics for the ERA as well as for Science Europe and the European Commission.
In government, there are various levers policy makers can use to encourage collaboration or alleviate some of the burdens of collaboration. However, sometimes what might seem to be a simple scheme to encourage collaboration can carry unintended consequences.
It is therefore important to understand Europe’s research environment and the levels of collaboration in Europe. To put these levels into perspective, the report benchmarks Europe with the United States.
Findings show that both Europe and the US have experienced steady growth in their overall collaboration rates since 2003. Inter-country collaboration in Europe also showed an increase, from slightly over 11% of articles in 2003 to 13% of articles in 2011, contrasting with the recently decreasing levels seen in analogous inter-state collaboration in the US, at 16% of articles in 2011.
On mobility, European researchers are less mobile within and outside of Europe than US researchers are within and outside the US. For Europe, the high-impact countries tend to show high mobility, whereas for the US, the high-impact states tend to show low mobility.