Horizon 2020 News
Boosting growth: Commission announces EUR 80 billion for research and innovation
On 30 November, Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn announced an EUR 80 billion package of proposed measures that aim to give European research, innovation and competitiveness a much-needed boost.
If accepted by the Council and the European Parliament, Horizon 2020 will be a key cornerstone of the EU's Innovation Union initiative, a Europe 2020 flagship policy that aims to secure Europe's science and technology base and industrial competitiveness.
Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said: 'We need a new vision for European research and innovation in a dramatically changed economic environment. Horizon 2020 provides direct stimulus to the economy and secures our science and technology base and industrial competitiveness for the future, promising a smarter, more sustainable and more inclusive society.'
Complementing this announcement, Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou has put forward a Strategic Innovation Agenda for the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), which will receive EUR 2.8 billion of funding under Horizon 2020. In addition, Vice-President Antonio Tajani announced a complementary new programme to boost competitiveness and innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with an additional budget of EUR 2.5 billion.
All these new programmes will run from 2014 until 2020, after the Commission's current framework programme for research - the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) - comes to an end in 2013.
Unlike previous research programmes, Horizon 2020 brings together all EU research and innovation funding under a single programme for the first time. And the focus is very much on turning scientific breakthroughs into innovative products and services that provide business opportunities and improve European citizens' lives.
Another key feature of Horizon 2020 is its streamlined approach. Great efforts have been made to cut red tape and simplify rules and procedures to make it easier for researchers and innovators to access the funding they need. One key goal is to reduce the time until funding is received following a grant application by 100 days on average, meaning projects can start more quickly.
EUR 24.6 billion of the budget has been set aside for science, and there has been a 77% increase in funding for the European Research Council (ERC), to EUR 13.2 billion. The ERC supports the most talented and creative scientists to carry out frontier research of the highest quality in Europe.
Another programme that supports individual researchers is the Marie Curie Actions programme which has supported the training, mobility and skills development of more than 50 000 researchers since it was launched in 1996. Under Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn's proposal, it will be allocated a further EUR 5.75 billion.
EUR 17.9 billion of the cash is marked out for securing industrial leadership in innovation. This includes a major investment of EUR 13.7 billion in key technologies, as well as greater access to capital and support for SMEs.
EUR 31.7 billion will go towards addressing major problems across six key themes: Health, demographic change and well-being; Food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime research and the bio-economy; Secure, clean and efficient energy; Smart, green and integrated transport; Climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials; and Inclusive, innovative and secure societies.
The Commission also wants Horizon 2020 to be more open to participants from across Europe by exploring synergies with funds under the EU's Cohesion policy. Horizon 2020 will identify potential centres of excellence in underperforming regions and offer them policy advice and support, while EU Structural Funds can be used to make any necessary upgrades to infrastructure and equipment.
EUR 3.5 billion will be devoted to a scaled up and expanded use of financial instruments that leverage lending from private sector financial institutions. In the past, these have proved to be effective at stimulating private investment in innovation that leads directly to growth and jobs. SMEs will benefit from the receipt of around EUR 8.6 billion, recognition for their critical role in innovation.
Horizon 2020 will invest nearly EUR 6 billion in developing European industrial capabilities in Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) such as photonics and microelectronics and nanoelectronics, nanotechnologies, advanced materials and advanced manufacturing and processing, and biotechnology.
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Category: General policy
Data Source Provider: European Commission
Document Reference: Based on information from the European Commission
Subject Index: Business aspects; Coordination, Cooperation; Economic Aspects; Education, Training; Legislation, Regulations; Policies; Regional Development; Scientific Research; Social Aspects