At separate events in Brussels on Wednesday, two top research officials in the European Commission described new timetables for their budget planning that stretch further into the future – and that could, analysts noted, lead to a delay in the scheduled 2021 start of the EU’s big new research and innovation vehicle, Framework Programme 9. They did not cite a specific reason for the delay, but did note that the loss of the UK eliminates one of the strongest member-state supporters of research and innovation in the bloc.
The Commission will only make its proposal for FP9 next summer instead of at the end of this year, said the executive’s director-general for research and innovation Robert-Jan Smits. A subordinate, Director Kurt Vandenberghe, speaking at another event the same day, outlined a timetable for FP9 action delayed by four to six months from prior expectations: Formal stakeholder consultations on FP9 would open next January or February, an impact assessment the following Spring, and an FP9 proposal later in 2018.
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