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Moving KICs inside Framework programme ‘risks damage’

The European Commission should tread carefully on plans to move the European Institute of Innovation and Technology’s Knowledge and Innovation Communities into the Framework programme, researchers have warned.

An advisory group to the Commission suggested this month that the KICs—which promote knowledge exchange between universities, research institutions, businesses and local government in areas such as health and climate change—could become part of the programme. The idea is to increase their impact, but the proposal has raised concerns about the KICs’ future governance and remit.

Richard Templer, a chemical biologist at Imperial College London and former UK director for the climate KIC, said that a move “could be fine”. But he urged the Commission to give the KICs more long-term funding and hands-on support, and warned that politics would be a concern. “The proviso would be: Would somebody kill them?”

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