For the first time ever, the European Commission, on its annual country-specific recommendations, is calling for national governments to foster investment in research and innovation. Even though the Commission’s recommendations in some other policy areas vary from country to country, it is recommending all EU Member States, without any exception, to increase funding on research and innovation.
However, the Commission is harsher in some countries than others. While some countries need to create a fully functioning innovation ecosystem based on domestic research and development from scratch, others just need to re-distribute research found among more players or make investment more effective.
Nevertheless, it is worth pinpointing that, despite cuts to public research budgets on research and innovation expending that followed the economic crisis of 2008, overall investment has hit a ten-year high in 2017 – mainly due to private sector spending. In this context, as advanced by the ENRF, the next research programme funded by the EU, known as Horizon Europe (2021-2027), will have about €100 billion allocated to research.
It is key that the nursing research community takes the opportunity of this European trend of promoting research and innovation and positions itself at the frontline. Nursing research plays a key role in shaping our healthcare systems and ensuring that reforms are evidence-based. It is needed both by healthcare professionals and citizens. As an example ENS4Care was an EU-funded two-year (2013-1015) research project that created evidence-based guidelines for nurses and social care workers for the deployment of eHealth services. These guidelines are on prevention, clinical practice, advanced roles, integrated care, and e-Prescribing for nurses.