The European Commission has decided to expand Horizon 2020 program and spend almost €16 billion on research and innovation in the next two years. The new wave of funding is directly linked to the Commission’s policy priorities and it will thus substantially contribute to the digital single market, energy union and climate change policy, jobs, growth and investment package and making Europe a stronger global actor.
Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, explained that “research and innovation are the engines of Europe’s progress and vital to addressing today’s new pressing challenges like immigration, climate change, clean energy and healthy societies.” He also added that “Over the next two years, €16 billion from Horizon 2020 will support Europe’s top scientific efforts, making the difference to citizens’ lives.”
In line with these ideas, Horizon 2020 will be open to innovation, science and to the world. For 2016-2017, there is a range of new funding opportunities through a number of different proposals, public procurements and other tools covering almost 600 topics. The program generally focuses on the EU’s long-term priorities and the most pressing changes within societies. As such, the program will fund a host of projects ranging from manufacturing industry through digitalization, circular economy, sustainable development, transport and energy to digital networks and urban environments.
On top of this, about €8 million will be available for research on security of the EU’s external borders and for prevention of human trafficking and smuggling, €27 million for the new technologies to prevent crime and terrorism as well as €15 million for research into the origin and impact of migration flows in Europe. The new funding program will also provide €5 million to deal with the critical outbreak of the olive-tree pest Xylella fastidiosa.