Grand challenges, such as global warming or chronic and infectious diseases, are increasingly global and complex. Solving these challenges often requires international research collaboration. The European Commission is playing an increasing role in supporting research and innovation through Horizon 2020, the European Union's comprehensive Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development.

This policy brief provides an overview of the main research priorities, the main collaborative efforts in international research collaboration regarding grand challenges, and summarises the outcomes of an expert and stakeholders' workshop conducted on the 3rd of April 2014. The brief is written to inform the European Research and Innovation Area Board regarding the state of research collaboration on grand challenges and what the EU could do to further improve research collaboration on these grand challenges.

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Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Study approach

  • Chapter Two

    Clarifying international research collaboration and the relevance of Horizon 2020

  • Chapter Three

    How are grand challenges defined in different parts of the world?

  • Chapter Four

    How does the EU aim to collaborate with the US, China and India? An overview of Horizon 2020’s work programme

  • Chapter Five

    When is collaboration desirable? Opinions of workshop participants by grand challenge

  • Chapter Six

    Conclusions and avenues for further research

  • Appendix One

    Differences between the research landscape of China, the US and India

  • Appendix Two

    Comparative overview of relevant research output indicators

  • Appendix Three

    Agenda of the workshop

  • Appendix Four

    List of participants to the workshop

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was prepared for the European Commission Directorate General for Research and Innovation and conducted by RAND Europe.

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