We are reaching Horizon 2020, what's next?| Violeta Martin Gil
The first year of the new decade will be also the last of the Science and Innovation framework program Horizon 2020 (H2020) run by the European Commission (#EC) which got under way in 2014. #H2020 represented a huge effort by the EC to unify the different research and innovation agencies to create a strategic fund to expand innovation and the European Research Area. It received 80 billion Euros of funding.
The European Commission has a clear vision necessitating research, development and innovation to allow the European Union to achieve the competitiveness edge and progress required to meet the challenges of societies of the future. The new framework program has been released for this purpose, and Horizon Europe has been partially disclosed.
#HorizonEU will run from 2021 to 2027 and more than 100 billion Euros of funding has been earmarked for this, an increment of 25% budget with respect to H2020. The program can be split into four different pillars as shown on the image below. Pillar 1, "Excellent Science", is to be designated 25.8 billion Euros of funding. The biggest budget will go to the "Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness" with 52.7 billion Euro, with the third pillar, "Innovative Europe" demanding 13.5 billion Euro.
HorizonEU: The New Science and Innovation Program
One of the most remarkable novelties of HorizonEU is the creation of the European Innovation Council to support breakthrough and disruptive innovations deemed too risky for private investors, however which will help innovators to create new market opportunities, leverage private finance, and/or scale up companies. The Innovation Council will focus on SMEs which should receive 70% of the budget. Two complementary instruments bridging the gap from idea to investable projects and commercialization. Firstly there is Pathfinder, a program to provide different grants to move early technology to the pre-commercial stage; and secondly, Accelerator which comprises grants and blended capital to move from pre-commercial to market and scale-up.
HorizonEU is going to take shape during this year, and we will know the new characteristics of the program in the coming months, however it will certainly boost innovation for SMEs, and it will help to shape the future of a more integrated and strong Europe. We will continue to outline the characteristics of HorizonEU in upcoming posts. The next one will focus on the role of SMEs within the program, and how they can take advance of HorizonEU.
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