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30 May 2017

EC publishes results of Horizon 2020 Interim Evaluation

On 29 May 2017, the Commission published the outcome of the Interim Evaluation of Horizon 2020, required by Article 32 of the regulation establishing Horizon 2020. The Interim Evaluation aims to contribute to improving the implementation of Horizon 2020 in its last Work Programme 2018-2020, to provide the evidence-base for the report of the High Level Group on maximising the impact of EU Research and Innovation programmes, and to inform the design of future Framework Programmes.

The assessment of the first years of Horizon 2020 shows that it is on track to help create jobs and growth, and to tackle the biggest societal challenges. Horizon 2020 has clear European added value by producing demonstrable benefits compared to national or regional-level support, but it has been so successful in attracting the best researchers and innovators that it could have spent four times its budget in support of excellent projects.

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation said: "Horizon 2020's interim evaluation and stakeholder feedback confirm that an EU programme for research and innovation is an invaluable asset for Europe that fuels economic growth, creates the jobs of tomorrow and tackles the societal challenges of our time. However, we can always do even better, and will use the lessons learned to make Horizon 2020's last three years even more effective, and to design a fit-for-purpose successor programme".

The Interim Evaluation provides a comprehensive assessment of Horizon 2020 after its first three years. Of the first 11,000 projects funded so far, less than 10% have already been completed (and their budget is less than 0.6% of the budget committed), so it is too early to talk about the final impact of Horizon 2020. The programme has proved extremely attractive, and demand is high. Participants come from over 130 different countries and more than half are newcomers, meaning they did not take part in its predecessor, the 7th Framework Programme for Research (FP7). Annually, the number of applications has increased by 65% compared to FP7, with 100,000 in total.

The results and lessons learnt will help to design the final Horizon 2020 Work Programme (2018-20) and will provide the evidence base for the report of the High Level Group on maximising the impact of EU Research and Innovation Programmes. This group will present its report and recommendations at the conference Research and Innovation: Shaping our future in Brussels on 3 July 2017. The Commission will draw policy conclusions from the Interim Evaluation and will react to the recommendations of the High Level Group in a Communication due to be adopted this autumn.

The documents of the Interim Evaluation can be downloaded here.

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