Horizon 2020 finally here

Nieuws | de redactie
4 december 2013 | The EU Council finally agreed on a relatively strong budget for research and innovation: € 77 billion. The question remains: will the memberstate ministers keep their promise and pay the Horizon 2020 bills?

European Commissioner for R&D, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said: “We will use
every cent of Horizon 2020’s budget to build a stronger, more innovative Europe – one that will be more competitive and improve the quality of life for everyone.”

That is, however, if European Member States will actually deliver on their financial commitments. Robert-Jan Smits (General Director, DG Research and Innovation, European Commission) earlier this year foresaw, that no less than 20 per cent of all R&D commitments cannot be paid in 2014, adding up to € 1.1 billion or 13% of next year’s budget. In particular the northern EU-members fail to live up to their expectations.

First have a party

But this week there were mainly positive comments. Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn: “I very much welcome the decision taken today, but the real work starts now. We will launch the first calls for funding under Horizon 2020 next week on December 11. These calls will be a huge opportunity for scientists and businesses across the EU and beyond and are not to be missed.”

Horizon 2020 is not just a European party, the programme is open for researchers and innovators from all over the world. The programme aims at doubling the participation from outside Europe. Foreign participation is clearly visible in the ERC grants.

Towards one European research area

Horizon 2020 will replace the EU’s 7th Research Framework Programme (FP7), which runs until the end of 2013. Compared with FP7, the new programme is expected to further eliminate fragmentation in the fields of scientific research and innovation.

The new programme will underpin the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy for growth and jobs, as well as the goal of strengthening the scientific and technological bases by contributing to achieving a European Research Area in which researchers, scientific knowledge and technology circulate freely.

Horizon 2020 focuses on three priorities, namely generating excellent science in order to strengthen the Union’s world-class scientific excellence and make the European research and innovation system more competitive, fostering industrial leadership to speed up the development of technologies that will support businesses and innovation, including for small companies, and tackling societal challenges in order to respond to the priorities identified in the Europe 2020 strategy by supporting activities covering the entire chain from research to market.

Agreement on Erasmus

This week the Council also adopted a regulation establishing ERASMUS +, the € 14.7 programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport for the period 2014-2020. It brings together in a single programme activities previously covered by a number of separate programmes (including the Lifelong Learning Programme, Erasmus Mundus and Youth in Action) and it also covers activities in the new area of European competence, sport. 

Horizon 2020 – distribution

Horizon 2020 distribution