Horizon 2020 approval by Parliament a boost for European research and innovation
BackgroundHorizon 2020, the EU’s next programme for research and innovation, will run from 2014 to 2020 with a budget of nearly EUR 80 billion (current prices – adjusted for inflation). It replaces the Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7), which ran from 2007 to 2013 with a budget of around EUR 55 billion (see MEMO/13/1034). The Horizon 2020 programme was first proposed by the European Commission in November 2011, for decision by EU Member States and the European Parliament. Negotiators for Member States, Parliament and the Commission reached provisional agreement on the final texts of the package in June 2013. Following approval yesterday by plenary vote in the European Parliament, EU Member States must sign off on the programme at Ministerial level.
Aside from the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, some other key elements of Horizon 2020 are:
- Increased funding for the European Research Council, already one of the world’s premier frontier-research funding agencies.
- Innovative public-private partnerships in areas such as new medicines, greener aircraft technologies, electronics and bio-based industries.
- Investment in Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) such as photonics, nanotechnologies and biotechnology.
- A challenge-based approach to key issues facing societies, such as healthcare, sustainable agriculture, smarter and greener transport, and climate change.
- A renewed focus on widening participation in less well-performing EU countries, including better synergies with European Structural and Investment Funds.
- A dedicated SME Instrument, and a “Fast Track to Innovation” pilot scheme to speed up the time from idea to market, and to increase the participation of industry, SMEs and first time applicants in Horizon 2020.
- A programme for “Science for and with society”, in order to engage European society, increase the attractiveness of science careers and address gender imbalance in the field.