The European Commission's (EC) Directorate-General for Research and Innovation launched an independent expert group on the ‘Follow-up to Rio+20, notably the Sustainable Development Goals' (SDGs).
The group will provide advice on the role of innovation, research, science and technology in implementing the SDGs, serving as an input to intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda and implementation of the SDGs.
6 March 2015: The European Commission’s (EC) Directorate-General for Research and Innovation launched an independent expert group on the ‘Follow-up to Rio+20, notably the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs). The group will provide advice on the role of innovation, research, science and technology in implementing the SDGs, serving as an input to intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda and implementation of the SDGs.
The independent expert group was established as part of Horizon 2020, a work programme guiding the EU’s research and innovation work for 2014-2015. The work programme calls for a number of expert groups to “contribute to establishing an EU reference policy framework for research and innovation on issues related to green economy and sustainable development.” The indicative budget for the group is €0.50 million from the 2014 budget and €0.20 million from the 2015 budget.
The group on Rio+20 follow-up and the SDGs held its first meeting in Brussels, Belgium, on 6 March 2015. Enrico Giovannini, Italy, serves as the Group’s Chairperson. Other members include Måns Nilsson, Sweden; Françoise Roure, France; Michael Spanos, Greece; and Ingeborg Niestroy, Germany as the rapporteur.
The group will develop a framework placing the EU’s research and innovation policy within the international sustainability agenda and the implementation of the SDGs, both within and beyond Europe. The group will also make suggestions for short and medium-term initiatives and partnerships in the field of science, technology and innovation.
According to the work programme document, the Expert Group will “provide guidance and orientation on: how future science, technology and innovation (STI) activities could be best integrated in the new post-2015 framework in which SDGs will be central; the follow up of specific Rio+20 actions in which research and innovation play a role and that are relevant to the implementation of the SDGs, including improving the science-policy interface in the field of sustainable development and environment, and the facilitation of clean and environmentally sound technologies; how the European Commission through Horizon 2020 can support the EU’s follow up of the above mentioned areas and make its activities internationally relevant, including suggesting links with relevant research-centered international initiatives linked to the Rio+20 follow up (i.e. Green Growth Knowledge Platform, Future Earth, Global Sustainable Development Report, etc.).”
The group also is expected to contribute to a discussion on international cooperation and sustainability in the context of the European Year for Development.
According to Horizon 2020, the EU should spend at least 60% of its budget on sustainable development and 35% on climate change. [EC Press Release] [Horizon 2020 Website] [Publication: Horizon 2020: Work Programme 2014-2015 (Revised)]