€8.5bn investment announced for Horizon 2020

The budget for 2017 has been set at €8.5bn for the European Commission’s research programme Horizon 2020…

The European Commission has announced the research and innovation budget for its flagship programme Horizon 2020 (H2020) will stand at €8.5bn during 2017.

The announcement was made following an update to the Work Programme of H2020—the funding scheme of the programme.

The programme for 2017 includes 50 calls worth €8.5m. This money will be spent on research into areas such as food security and smart cities. Two new items also appear on the funding menu: open science and migration. The commission has set aside some €11m for social sciences to carry out migration research and to find ways to integrate migrants into the labour force.

Priorities for 2017 include €1.45bn for SMEs, including a dedicated instrument for over 1,000 innovative SMEs worth €438m.

Nutrition security will be given €280m allocation, while €225m will be used to boost Europe’s industrial capacity.

The Work Programme will introduce important novelties, including open access to research data. This remains an integral priority for the European Commission, which wants researchers to be able to access scientific information and knowledge with ease. While H2020 currently provides open access, from 2017 all research data will be automatically accessible. It is hoped this will promote competitiveness by accelerating innovation and collaboration. Open research data will also move from the pilot phase into a default setting under the updated work programme. This will help researchers to utilise research and replicate studies with ease.

Speaking at the Euroscience Open Forum in Manchester, Research Commissioner Carlos Moedas said: “The commission has made open data the default for all Horizon 2020 projects,” Moedas said. This, he said, could help to address problems caused by globalisation and allows for collaboration on global issues.

“A scientist can explain how renewable energy can help to combat climate change, but how does that help someone who cannot afford to heat their home?

“A politician can explain the net benefits of migration, but how does that help someone who cannot get a doctor’s appointment?”

He added: “The public identifies with populist rhetoric and decisions are made based on fears and assumptions, because people feel science and politics have left them behind.”

Moedas said open science offered solutions to creating a better relationship between research and the public. “I believe many of the answers lie in open science,” he said.

“Open access to data needs trust and transparency. Public acceptance requires research integrity and citizen science brings scientists closer to people.”

He added: “This is why we’re putting more focus on research integrity in Horizon 2020 model grant agreements.”

Rules have been clarified and updated for grant agreements to make it more clear what is expected to ensure research integrity.

Also viewed as a priority for the year ahead will be green transport, which will gain a boost. A budget of €133m set aside to develop green vehicles, while €84m will be used to innovate energy storage, renewables, and energy grid.

Another €332m will be set used to develop personalised medicine, €227m to the Mobility for Growth call, and €48m for security, terrorism and organised crime research.

Lastly, €56m will be put aside for a recently signed public-private cybersecurity partnership.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here