EU Commission proposes €100 billion Horizon Europe programme

The EU Commission proposed their most ambitious Research and Innovation programme yet. For the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027, the Commission is proposing €100 billion for research and innovation. This new programme – called Horizon Europe – will build on the achievements and success of the previous Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. Horizon Europe will introduce the following main new features:

·         A European Innovation Council (EIC) to help the EU become a frontrunner in market-creating innovation. This EIC will complement the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).

·         New EU-wide research and innovation missions focusing on societal challenges and industrial competitiveness. Under Horizon Europe, the Commission will launch new missions with bold, ambitious goals and strong European added value to tackle issues such as clean transport.

·         Maximising the innovation potential across the EU: New synergies with Structural and Cohesion Funds will make it easy to coordinate and combine funding and help regions embrace innovation.

·         More openness: The principle of 'open science' will become the modus operandi of Horizon Europe, requiring open access to publications and data. This will assist market uptake and increase the innovation potential of results generated by EU funding.

·         A new generation of European Partnerships and increased collaboration with other EU programmes: Horizon Europe will promote effective and operational links with other future EU programmes, such as the Connecting Europe Facility.

Commission Vice-President Jyrki 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.”  Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, 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".

The Horizon Europe proposal builds on the success of the current programme, Horizon 2020. The interim evaluation of Horizon 2020 showed that the programme is on track to help create jobs and growth, tackle the biggest societal challenges and improve people's lives. It shows that the programme has clear European added value, producing demonstrable benefits compared to national or regional-level support. As of May 2018, it has supported over 18,000 projects with over €31 billion awarded.

About two-thirds of Europe's economic growth over the last decades has been driven by innovation. Horizon Europe is expected to generate new and more knowledge and technologies, promoting scientific excellence, and to have positive effects on growth, trade and investment and significant social and environmental impact. Each euro invested by the programme can potentially generate a return of up to 11 euro of GDP over 25 years. These investments in R&I are expected to directly generate an estimated gain of up to 100 000 jobs in R&I activities in the ‘investment phase' (2021-2027).