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PSF Challenge/ Mutual Learning Exercises

Challenge/ Mutual learning exercises focus on specific R&I challenge of interest to several Member States and Associated Countries and draw on a hands-on project-based exchange of good practice.
Its aim is to identify good practices, lessons learned and success factors based on robust evidence. Mutual learning exercises have addressed topics such as the Administration and monitoring of R&D tax incentives, Evaluation of business R&D grant schemes and the Evaluation of complex public private partnerships, among others.

01/12/2023 - 31/12/2024

The Mutual Learning Exercise (MLE) “Public Engagement in R&I” aims at exchanging success stories, experiences, and challenges in fostering meaningful public participation in research and innovation (R&I). This collaborative dialogue will focus on national experiences of democracy, inclusion, and equity in R&I governance. This cooperation will equip European and national policymakers with the skills and tools they need to effectively level-up public engagement in R&I policy. The MLE will build on the results of previous MLEs on Citizen Science Initiatives, Foresight and EU Missions. 


The following topics of interest have been identified for the MLE: 


  • Topic 1: Overview of public engagement  
  • Topic 2: Successes and challenges of public engagement  
  • Topic 3: Public engagement and framework conditions  
  • Topic 4: Public engagement in ERA
20/03/2023 - 19/11/2024

Mission-oriented innovation policy is a cross-sectoral and cross-policy approach to achieve ambitious and clearly formulated goals via the generation and application of knowledge and innovation addressing pressing societal challenges.

The five EU Missions implement the mission-oriented approach at the EU level. They are a novelty of the Horizon Europe research and innovation programme for the years 2021-2027. As such, the implementation of the EU Missions requires new forms of governance and collaboration, new approaches for citizen engagement and significant investments by both private and public actors.

The Mutual Learning Exercise focuses on the available evidence and collective experience to support the development of effective national frameworks for the implementation of EU Missions.

01/04/2023 - 31/03/2024

This Mutual Learning Exercise (MLE) serves as a platform for 12 participating countries to discuss their specific needs and interests, exchange experiences and knowledge about success factors and lessons learned and provide guidance to policy makers on how to develop or update their industrial technology roadmaps and sector-specific strategies for industrial decarbonisation.

The MLE provides best practices and models for mobilising private and public investments in low-carbon technologies of energy-intensive industries and their deployment, taking into account also framework conditions. This helps countries to effectively address the challenges of reducing carbon emissions and link R&I on industrial decarbonisation in the industrial sector and move towards a more sustainable future.

The MLE will be structured along the following topics:

  1. Overview of national industrial technology roadmaps and strategies for industrial decarbonisation.
  2. Policies, design and financing for R&I investments in development, uptake and deployment of low-carbon technologies.
  3. Actors’ engagement.
  4. Framework conditions (regulatory framework, permits for demonstrators and ‘first-of-a-kind’ pilots, IPR, technology infrastructures, knowledge and data).
01/03/2023 - 01/04/2024

The mutual learning exercise builds on and contributes to implement European Research Area (ERA) Action 7 ‘Upgrade EU guidance for a better knowledge valorisation’, notably the Council Recommendation on the guiding principles for knowledge valorisation. As inter-sectoral mobility is one of the most important streams of knowledge circulation and uptake, and skills play a pivotal role in this process, the exercise also contributes to the implementation of ERA Action 4 ‘Promote attractive and sustainable research careers, balanced talent circulation and international, transdisciplinary and inter-sectoral mobility across the ERA’ and promotes synergies between these priorities.

The following topics of interest have been identified:

Topic 1: Introduction and ERA Priority Actions 7 (upgrade EU guidance for better knowledge valorisation) and 4 (promoting attractive research careers)

Topic 2: Incentives and skills

a) Policy and legal context, governance and funding

b) Research talent

Topic 3: Intermediaries

Topic 4: Networks and Processes

Topic 5: Cross-cutting topic

20/10/2022 - 19/04/2024

The whole-of-government approach ensures that R&I policies work in close synergy and are mutually beneficial with other sectoral policies. This MLE will support participating countries with identifying and exchanging good practices, and will engage them in mutual learning on the application of the whole-of-government approach to the design and implementation of national R&I strategies and plans.

24/08/2022 - 24/04/2024

The purpose of the MLE is to facilitate the exchange of information, experiences and lessons learnt in the practice of R&I foresight across EU and Associated Countries, and to contribute to the development of an impactful R&I foresight community as an important element of ERA. It promotes improvements in R&I foresight across participating countries through identification and propagation of good practices in institutionalising foresight capability, in carrying out foresight projects and in using foresight for R&I policy purposes.

The MLE also strengthens the European foresight community in R&I policy and the capacity of MS and AC to engage in foresight and R&I policy planning and to co-create future EU Research Framework Programmes.

This MLE constitutes an opportunity to take stock of current or planned policies and good practices at Member State level and beyond and to share experience among policy-makers and national authorities on the use of foresight in the R&I domain as well as the potential of science and research to provide foresight for other policies.

01/12/2021 - 28/02/2023

An increasing number of citizen science projects and initiatives are being implemented across Europe. They mostly taking place at local or national level, but some are co-ordinated internationally. This rapidly emerging mode of research and innovation shows a big potential to achieve greater societal impact and increase trust in science by leveraging collective societal capabilities, enlarging the scope of the R&I and increasing relevance, responsiveness and transparency. However, existing national and regional policies to support them are still at an early stage of development in many countries. Europe would benefit from a greater attention towards the promotion of citizen science within Member States and regions, and from a greater cooperation and shared approaches across the European Research Area.

The MLE aims to facilitate the exchange of information, experiences and lessons learned, as well as to support and scale up citizen science through identifying the good practices, policies and programmes of the various approaches at local, regional and national level, towards supporting and scaling up citizen science. Another objective is to identify citizen science campaigns that have high potential to be implemented in a collaborative way across the European Research Area.