European Law Monitor

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Commission launches new information source on research systems and policies in the EU

The Commission on the 15th January is launching ERAWATCH, a new online information platform on research systems and policies within the European Union. ERAWATCH supports the ongoing construction of the European Research Area (ERA) by providing policy makers and policy analysts working in the field of science and research with condensed and updated information and analysis on the development of research systems and policies in all Member States of the European Union plus selected other countries. It contains information on recent policy documents, research programmes, funding agencies, research performance as well as major indicators such as expenditure, publications and patents.

Janez Potočnik, Commissioner for Science and Research said: "Figures released today show that research investment in the EU in 2005 has stagnated. This just goes to show the importance of implementing the measures proposed by the Commission in the Growth and Jobs Strategy in 2005. If we are to see improvement in the future, we need to press on. A fully functioning European Research Area will allow us to make the most of the resources we have and encourage further investment. ERAWATCH is an invaluable service that will allow us to take action to improve the functioning of the European Research Area on the basis of solid and accurate information. I hope to present to the College later this year proposals to revitalise the European Research Area as a major project for Europe's future."

ERAWATCH offers for the first time, in one single place, comprehensive and timely information on the research systems of all EU Member States, countries associated with the Framework Programme as well as the US, China and Japan. It should allow a better understanding of the research systems and the environment in which they operate, to assist European policy analysts and policy makers in developing more effective research policies.

The service is kept up-to-date by a network of national contact organisations who collect and organise the information presented. Within its "Intelligence service", ERAWATCH develops further analyses and reporting activities on research and related policies, as well as on the trends and factors influencing them.

ERAWATCH is a user driven service. Its users can access and customise the way information is presented and downloaded. They are also invited to provide feedback so the service can be developed and improved.