Commission outlines first steps towards next EU research programme
According to a Science|Business article, the European Commission plans to table a preliminary proposal for the next EU programme for research and innovation by the end of 2017, beginning of 2018 as part of the Commission's long-term budget planning. Speaking at the Science|Business annual conference last week, Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General for Research and Innovation, informed that the Commission commissioned a couple of think tanks and will launch a big foresight exercise on the research the EU should fund from 2021 onwards. Smits noted this new approach to preparing a research programme was suggested by the Belgian microbiologist Peter Piot, co-discoverer of the Ebola virus. The initial study will be followed by a public consultation, which will seek input from academics and industry on the research the EU should fund in the long term.