“The European Commission may have been hard at work looking for ways to improve the circulation of knowledge across Europe, but to remove barriers between member states, it needs to set up a binding framework for knowledge sharing, says Karen Maex, rector of the University of Amsterdam.
The EU’s plans for a single market for research and for creating a common education area by 2025 are planting the seeds for a unified innovation market. But as things stand, neither of these initiatives requires member states to remove national barriers to knowledge sharing.
“We would need what some call a European Knowledge Act, so that we have a legally binding framework to share our knowledge,” Maex said in a panel discussion on the transformation agenda for universities at the Commission’s Research & Innovations Days event, earlier this week.
Universities have been talking about binding frameworks for years, but the discussion is becoming topical again as the Commission works on the development of a pan-European strategy for Europe’s universities. Some level of convergence will be pivotal to the transformation, and this cannot be achieved without an easy way to share data, experience and knowledge….
The alliances are already pioneering knowledge sharing, with 60% of the universities in the initiative sharing data and materials, according to the EU research commissioner Mariya Gabriel.
The upcoming university strategy will back these efforts with digital transformation plans and promoting take up of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence.
On top of the digital plans, Gabriel said the strategy will place greater emphasis on developing and sharing of digital education tools and platforms….
Maex said that is another key priority, pointing to universities’ increasing dependence on non-compatible platforms that place universities in bubbles, obstructing knowledge flows between institutions using different tools from different vendors.
The third element of the strategy will be empowering women in STEM subjects, while the fourth is fostering open science….”