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Services SRA - Strategic Research Agenda & Implementation Action Plan for Services

Strategic Research Agenda for Services


Services constitute a significant element in the EU’s economic activity, accounting for around 70% of total employment as well as of the gross added value generated by the EU27. A vibrant services economy can contribute to countries’ growth and competitiveness, create new jobs, and help balance public sector finances.

European economies are currently facing significant challenges. Also the European services sector has room for improvement. There are many barriers to trade in services within the EU internal market, and the productivity of services is not particularly high.

The development of services is at the core of national and EU-level policies. However, services have been largely neglected in the EU Framework Programmes. We wish to argue that, because of its dependence on services, Europe needs to make sure that the most important research and development themes are properly identified and addressed.


In 2010 a group of European Research and Technology Organisations within the AERTOs ERA-NET Coordination Action decided to explore co-operation opportunities in select subject-matter areas. One of those areas was service research. This work has now resulted in the publication of a SRA for services: Services for Europe – Strategic Research Agenda and Implementation Action Plan for Services.

The participating organisations included TNO (The Netherlands), Fraunhofer ISI and IAO (Germany), Tecnalia (Spain), SINTEF (Norway), SP (Sweden), and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. VTT assumed responsibility for project management and publishing. The Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes) contributed by providing substantial financial support.

The publication identifies and justifies important research and development themes in services and issues recommendations for the organisation and funding of services-related research in Europe. The major socio-economic and technological trends that currently influence the development of services have also been identified. The main purpose is to provide input to the preparation of both national and EU-level research programmes and calls for proposals in the field of services, a particular aim being the forthcoming Horizon 2020.