The first batch of calls for projects has been introduced today as the EU launches its €70.2bn (£59bn) Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme covering the next seven years, aiming to spur economic recovery.
The programme, making up about 7 per cent of the EU’s overall budget for the next seven years, will serve to fund development in various areas including communication technology, space, food security or health
The biggest part of the budget will be administered by the European Research Council.
The first batch of projects, introduced today is part of the Horizon 2020’s first Working Programme, worth more than €15bn, which covers the first two-year period.
For the first time, the European Commission has indicated funding priorities over two years, providing researchers and businesses with more certainty than ever before on the direction of EU research policy. Most calls from the 2014 budget are already open for submissions as of today, with more to follow over the course of the year. Calls in the 2014 budget alone are worth around €7.8bn, with funding focused on the three key pillars.
€1.8bn has been made available to support Europe’s industrial leadership in areas like ICT, nanotechnologies, advanced manufacturing, robotics, biotechnologies and space.
Further €2.8bn will be awarded to innovative projects addressing Horizon 2020’s seven societal challenges including health, agriculture, maritime, bioeconomy, energy, transport, climate action, environment, resource efficiency, raw materials and security.
The €3bn Excellent Science package will cover grants from the European Research Council for top researchers as well as Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellowships for young talent.
The programme, hoped to facilitate the transition of Europe into a more innovative and competitive economy, aims to strengthen Europe’s global position in science and industrial leadership and tackle societal challenges by bridging the gap between research and the market, ultimately leading to an increase in growth and jobs.