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Reform Support

Horizon Policy Support Facility

The Horizon Policy Support Facility aims to support countries in improving their research and innovation (R&I) systems. It provides them with access to the most relevant expertise, and experience from peers, on R&I policy reforms across the European Research Area. At the request of national administrations with R&I competences, the Policy Support Facility (PSF) provides customer-oriented services to support evidence-based policy making. It uses state-of the-art methodologies in a flexible way and stakeholders’ consultations to best answer the needs of EU Member States and countries associated to the EU’s research programmes. PSF activities are regularly presented and discussed in the European Research Area and Innovation Committee (ERAC). On the Policy Support Facility web page all past and ongoing exercises are documented with reports and presentations.

Technical support provided

The Policy Support Facility provides good practice, independent high-level expertise and guidance at the request of Member States and Associated Countries through a number of services:

Policy Support Facility Country  is an in-depth assessments of a country's research and innovation (R&I) system (or of parts of it) carried out by a panel of experts and peers and leading to actionable policy recommendations to the national authorities on reforms necessary to strengthen their R&I system.

Policy Support Facility Challenge includes the PSF Mutual Learning Exercises and is focused on specific and operational R&I challenges of interest to several volunteering countries. It aims to identify good practice, lessons learned and success factors.

Policy Support Facility Open allows countries having already benefitted from a PSF exercise to receive support to implement the PSF recommendations.

Phase of technical support

Through its various services, the Policy Support Facility can provide support to the whole reform cycle, i.e. from the elaboration of the diagnosis based on evidence collection and stakeholders’ consultations, to the formulation of recommendations, their dissemination and their implementation. 

Beneficiaries

To request a Policy Support Facility Country exercise, national administrations with R&I competences can contact the PSF Team at RTD-PSF@ec.europa.eu for preliminary discussions before submitting an official request. For the Mutual Learning Exercises (MLEs, under PSF Challenge), a topic can be proposed by a group of MSs and/or ACs, or by some Commission services. DG R&I informs regularly European Research Area and Innovation Committee (ERAC) of the MLEs opportunities and MSs and ACs are invited to express their interest and contribute to further define the content of the exercise based on their specific needs.

Examples of technical support projects

The objective of the review of Romania’s research and innovation system was to provide support to the country in its efforts in reforming its public science sphere in areas such as governance, framework conditions for public research, internationalisation, public-private partnerships and effectiveness and impact of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). The activity identified key impediments and came up with policy recommendations complemented with short and long-term measures that are necessary in order to improve the country’s research and development performance.

The Citizen science MLE aims to facilitate an exchange of information, experiences and lessons learned, as well as to identify good practices, policies and programmes in relation to the local, regional and national levels, towards supporting and scaling up citizen science. This rapidly emerging mode of R&I shows substantial potential in terms of achieving greater societal impact and increasing trust in science, by leveraging collective societal capabilities, by enlarging the scope of the R&I, and by increasing relevance, responsiveness and transparency.

General Information

Lead DG
Total amount of the programme 2021/2027

Budgets are set for each year through Horizon Europe Work Programmes. Typical annual budget is €1.5 M.

Estimated amount dedicated to technical support projects to Member States

According to its scope, one PSF project typically costs between €300,000 and €450,000.

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