The next framework programme for research and innovation (FP9) should get a higher budget in order to tackle the major social and economic challenges facing Europe. This is the key message of the Association of universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) in its position paper on FP9. Furthermore, FP9 should focus on excellence, fundamental research, impact and interdisciplinarity.

Dutch Universities: invest in research and innovation

Higher budget for research and innovation

The EU should invest a larger share of its budget in outstanding research and innovation (R&I). This is one of the seven points included in the VSNU position paper Broadening EU’s horizons . Additional investments are crucial given the major social and economic challenges facing Europe and the ambition to maintain Europe’s position as a global scientific leader. The new Framework Programme must sufficiently accommodate fundamental research, since this type of research is necessary for scientific breakthroughs.

Impact and Excellence

The VSNU states that excellence should be the main criterion for the evaluation of research programmes and projects. Furthermore, the impact of R&I should be increased, for example by stimulating open science and open access. The VSNU also calls for a research programme that stimulates an interdisciplinary approach, something which is desperately needed given the complex nature of the current scientific, economic and social issues.

Include all talents and regions

The VSNU calls for measures that result in an increase of the acceptance rates, in order to preserve the interest of excellent researchers. In addition, the VSNU calls on all regions and talents to be included in the programme and to close the gap between European regions that lead in terms of innovation and those that lag behind. This could be achieved, for example, by using the Structural Funds, according to the VSNU.


In the Association of universities in the Netherlands (VSNU), the fourteen Dutch universities work together towards a strong university sector. With this position paper it aims to contribute to the discussions about the development of a new Framework Programme. You can find more about stakeholder positions on FP9 here.