The goal of the PSF Specific Support to Tunisia – implemented by a team of independent European R&I policy experts – is to provide external advice and operational recommendations to the Tunisian authorities on possible reforms to undertake in the context of the ongoing restructuring of the national R&I system. The experts will focus on the following areas: (i) Policy mechanisms to promote private participation in R&D and strengthen public-private cooperation in research, and (ii) development of a methodology for defining research priorities – combining bottom-up consultation processes with top-down defined priorities – and of a smart specialisation policy focused on the most relevant areas.
An overview of the PSF Specific Support to Tunisia
This background report for the H2020 Specific Support to Tunisia focuses on describing the key characteristics of the research and innovation (R&I) system in Tunisia, its key actors and governance structure and policies.
The Specific Support to Tunisia started with a discussion on its two main focus areas – business participation in R&D activities and defining research priorities – and the schedule for a series of fact-finding visits to the country. The PSF team includes independent European R&I policy experts from Austria, Belgium, France, Spain and Switzerland.
In this first PSF Specific Support action for an EU-associated country outside Europe, the panel of policy experts and peers from other countries met a range of stakeholders in the Tunisian R&I system, from public administration and research organisations to the private sector. The mission allowed the panel to look at the status of public-private R&D cooperation in the country and discuss potential policy instruments for fostering such collaboration, as well as the processes involved in the design of Tunisia’s national research priorities to facilitate their appropriation by stakeholders.
The expert panel met research and innovation stakeholders from the public and private sectors during this second visit to Tunisia. It was an opportunity to discuss the panel's preliminary findings and recommendations with the Tunisian authorities, as well as to undertake additional interviews with the R&I community in the country. This helped the experts to refine and complete their assessment on how to strengthen public-private cooperation in research and to improve the definition of research priorities.
During this final meeting of the PSF Specific Support to Tunisia, the expert panel will discuss the findings of the second round of interviews in the country, draw its final conclusions and sharpen its recommendations for the Tunisian authorities to promote research-industry cooperation in the country and strengthen the definition and implementation of the national research priorities.