European Commission presents proposal for Horizon Europe
The European Commission (EC) has today presented its proposal for Horizon Europe, the next Framework Programme for Research and Innovation the period of 2021 to 2027.
The proposal was presented at a press conference in Brussels by Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen and Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas.
Commissioner Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said “Investing in research and innovation is investing in Europe's future. EU funding has allowed teams across countries and scientific disciplines to work together and make unthinkable discoveries, making Europe a world-class leader in research and innovation. With Horizon Europe, we want to build on this success and continue to make a real difference in the lives of citizens and society as a whole.”
Commissioner Moedas added: "Horizon 2020 is one of Europe's biggest success stories. The new Horizon Europe programme aims even higher. As part of this, we want to increase funding for the European Research Council to strengthen the EU's global scientific leadership, and reengage citizens by setting ambitious new missions for EU research. We are also proposing a new European Innovation Council to modernise funding for ground-breaking innovation in Europe".
Horizon Europe will continue funding scientific excellence through the European Research Council (ERC) and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowships and exchanges, but in addition will include the following main new features:
A European Innovation Council (EIC) should help the EU become a frontrunner in market-creating innovation, with the aim of bringing the most promising high potential and breakthrough technologies from lab to market application, and help the most innovative start-ups and companies scale up their ideas. The EIC will consist of two main funding instruments, one for early stages and the other for development and market deployment. It will complement the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).
New EU-wide research and innovation missions within Horizon Europe will focus on societal challenges and industrial competitiveness. Examples given gy the Commission could be the fight against cancer, clean transport or plastic-free oceans. These missions will be co-designed in a separate process involving citizens, stakeholders, the European Parliament and Member States.
Doubling support for Member States lagging behind in their efforts to make the most of their national research and innovation potential, and new synergies with Structural and Cohesion Funds aim at maximising the innovation potential across the EU.
Horizon Europe's will work on the principle of 'open science', requiring open access to publications and data. This will assist market uptake and increase the innovation potential of results generated by EU funding.
In the context of a new generation of European Partnerships, the European Commission wants to streamline the number of partnerhsips the EU co-programmes or co-funds with partners like industry, civil society and funding foundations, in order to increase their effectiveness and impact. In addition to aiming for more synergies with the Structural and Cohesion Funds, Horizon Europe will also promote effective and operational links with other future EU programmes such as the European Defence Fund, the Digital Europe Programme, and the Connecting Europe Facility, as well as with the international fusion energy project ITER.
The Joint Research Centre (JRC), the Commission's science and knowledge service, will continue to contribute with scientific advice, technical support and dedicated research.
The EC proposes a budget allocation of €100 billion for 2021-2027, of which €97.6 bn are accounted for by Horizon Europe (this figure includes €3.5 bn which will be allocated under the InvestEU Fund), and €2.4 bn for the Euratom Research and Training Programme. The Commission calls for a swift agreement on both the overall long-term EU budget and its sectoral proposals, in order to ensure a seamless transition and for EU funds to start delivering results as soon as possible.
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Photo: EC Vice-President Katainen and Commissioner Moedas presenting the Horizon Europe proposal (by EC)