The European Commission (EC) welcomed the interim agreement reached on Wednesday by the European Parliament and the EU negotiators on the future EU research and innovation program Horizon Europe. The agreement has approved the investment in research and innovation, economy knowledge and the preservation and improvement of the European way of life, which, according to the European Commission, is a “future investment” and is intended to maintain the EU’s competitiveness on a global scale.
Horizon Europe, proposed by the EC in June 2018 as part of the EU’s long-term budget (2021-2027), is the most ambitious research and innovation program to date and the EU wants to become a world leader in research and innovation. In this context, the Commissioner responsible for research, innovation and science, Carlos Moedas, stated that this agreement includes strong support for the new European Innovation Council and European research programs, which focus on specific objectives. “We are well on track to launch the most ambitious European research and innovation program in 2021, which will shape the future of a strong, sustainable and competitive European economy and benefit all regions in Europe.”
Horizon Europe will build on the results and achievements of the current Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. It will introduce new elements, including the European Innovation Council (EIC). It is already in its pilot phase and will be a single point of contact that will bring radical and breakthrough innovations to the market. At the same time, it will help start-ups, small and medium-sized businesses to expand their ideas. The EIC will provide direct support to innovators through two main funding instruments, one for the early stages and the other for development and marketing and it will work in tandem with the European Institute of Innovation and Technology.
The budgetary aspects of Horizon Europe depend on an overall agreement on the next long-term EU budget, submitted by the EC in May 2018. The EU executive for the science and research program proposed to allocate € 100 billion. The Commission has pointed out that while Europe has only 7% of the world’s population, there is a 20% R&D investment and one third of all top scientific publications are published here. In addition, the EU holds a leading position in many industries such as the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, engineering and fashion.