11.04.2019 – 14:15
Horizon Europe: The biggest Research and Innovation programme you've never heard of
'Horizon Europe must be more than a science programme; it needs to be the cornerstone for a new 'social contract' between citizens, governments and science.' 
Horizon Europe, the European Union's next Research and Innovation (R&I) Programme, will run for seven years, from 2021 to 2027. With a proposed budget of EUR94.6 billion, it is the EU's biggest ever R&I programme and one of the largest scientific funding initiatives in the world. These are the most important things you need to know about the programme:
WHAT'S NEW IN THE PROGRAMME?
Tackling the great missions of our time
For the first time ever, funding under a Framework Programme is arranged around concrete missions to solve Europe's and the world's most difficult problems. Mission areas under discussion include curing childhood cancer and ridding our oceans of the millions of tonnes of plastic waste that kill seabirds and marine animals every day. Achieving these missions requires the world's best minds and talents to come together, which is why international research cooperation is built into the missions' DNA. The mission-oriented approach is inspired by the process by which some of history's greatest innovations, like the internet and the Galileo satellite navigation system came about - as after-effects of major problem-solving efforts. Each mission will be backed by significant funding and is expected to incite major business investment in novel, market-shaping advancements.
New opportunities for international participation
Horizon Europe will be even more open to international participation than its predecessor programme Horizon 2020, which lauded the 'Open to the World' principle as one of its main tenets. The European Commission's proposal for Horizon Europe states it will intensify and expand international cooperation and extend association agreements - a legal status that allows countries to participate in EU research under the same preferential conditions as Member States - to include third countries with excellent science, technology, business and innovation capacities. The programme's aim is to be flexible in its entry terms for third countries. Under Horizon 2020, the vast amount of funding has gone to researchers in the EU and its neighbouring countries. Under Horizon Europe, the international share of total participations is set to increase considerably.
Aim: To extend the excellence of the European Union's science base through such established initiatives as the European Research Council, which funds frontier research at all stages in researchers' careers, and Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, which equip researchers with new knowledge and skills through mobility.
Global Challenges & Industrial Competitiveness
Aim: To boost key technologies and solutions which underpin EU policies and the Sustainable Development Goals. Funding under this pillar is organised into different thematic clusters, representing major policy challenges of the future.
Aim: To stimulate breakthroughs and business ecosystems conducive to innovation. Under this pillar, the new European Innovation Council will be established. The Council is set to spur breakthrough technologies by supporting disruptive, high-potential innovations that are too risky for private investors.
Horizon Europe will be finally adopted within the next 18 months, once the legislation itself, the long-term EU budget the programme depends on, and the strategic planning of the programme's key details have been agreed upon. On March 20, an important first step in this direction was taken, as negotiators for the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union reached an agreement on most aspects of the legislation that will establish Horizon Europe.
Follow updates on Horizon Europe and EU-international research cooperation on Twitter: @EUScienceInnov | #HorizonEU
Coming up next month: How Horizon 2020's openness to the world is promoting breakthroughs in Artificial Intelligence
: Moedas, Carlos (@Moedas) Horizon Europe must be more than a science programme; it needs to be the cornerstone for a new 'social contract' between citizens, governments and science. #HorizonEU #EUatDavos #WEF19. 23.01.2019. https://twitter.com/Moedas/status/1088138847857324034
Hendrik Steinort (Scholz & Friends)
Phone: +49 30 700 186 742
Original content of: Horizon 2020 - Open to the World, transmitted by news aktuell