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The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) provide grants for researchers in all stages of their careers – be they doctoral candidates or highly experienced researchers – and encourage transnational, inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary mobility. It enables research-focused organisations (universities, research centres, and businesses) to host talented foreign researchers and to create strategic partnerships with leading institutions worldwide.

PPMI in partnership with the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology and Optimity Advisors has just finished assessing the impacts of business participation and entrepreneurship on the results of the research fellowships funded by the programme.

The study relied on the evidence gathered and analysed using qualitative and quantitative methods, including desk research, statistical analysis of the monitoring data, a large-scale case study programme (50 case studies of the MSCA projects involving businesses and cross-case analysis), more than 300 interviews with various types of interviewees (EU and national-level stakeholders, business participants in the MSCA and representatives of unsuccessful business applicants), as well as surveys of the MSCA fellows and participating organisations.

The study found many positive impacts of business participation in the MSCA on the careers of fellows, the participating organisations as well as the overall EU R&I ecosystem. Some selected examples of the major impacts include:

  • around 47 % of all business beneficiaries indicated that as a result of their project at least one job (FTE equivalent) was created in their organisation;
  • business participation significantly increased the chance of a patent application being registered as a result of the MSCA project;
  • as a result of the MSCA, the vast majority (89 %) of businesses started to collaborate with at least one new academic organisation.

The future outlook of business participation in the MSCA was also found to be very positive. The study revealed that the number of businesses interested in getting involved in the MSCA has increased over time: so far more businesses have already applied to participate in the MSCA under H2020 than during the entire FP7 programming period (2007-2013). Overall, most of the beneficiary business organisations, beneficiary fellows and other stakeholders interviewed during the study confirmed that the current programme design of the MSCA has no major deficiencies and includes some of the best instruments for business–research cooperation.

The study also found that further improvements are necessary in order to meaningfully integrate entrepreneurship training in the MSCA and achieve the desired impacts. Among other things, the recommendations invited the Commission to:

  • better define the overarching purposes and the suggested content of the entrepreneurship education to be provided under the programme;
  • revise the conceptualisation and proposal evaluation of complementary skills training;
  • initiate sharing of good practices on entrepreneurial education among the network of MSCA projects.

Here you can find the full text of the report. For more information about the study please contact Mantas Pupinis.


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