Agreement reached on €95.5 billion EU research and innovation budget

Submitted by Lee Gibson on 14 December 2020

The European Parliament and European Council have reached political agreement on the budget for Horizon Europe, the largest transnational programme ever supporting research and innovation.

The programme will have a budget of around €95.5 billion between 2021 and 2027, including €5.4 billion from NextGenerationEU to boost the European Union's recovery from COVID-19 and it more resilient for the future.

This represents a 30% increase on the current Horizon 2020 programme and the agreement has been welcomed by the European Commission.

Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, said: “This agreement marks a very important milestone for Europe. With the Horizon Europe programme, the European research community, research organisations and our citizens can count on the world's largest research and innovation programme.

"It is our main tool to strengthen our scientific and technological base, develop solutions for healthier living, drive digital transformation and fight climate change, for our collective resilience.”

Horizon Europe aims to promote excellence and provide valuable support to researchers and innovators to drive the changes needed to ensure a green, healthy and resilient Europe.

It will drive scientific excellence through the European Research Council (ERC) to enable the continent's best researchers to push the frontiers to tackle economic and social challenges.

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowships and exchanges will help the best young researchers to expand on their knowledge and skills, and Europe will benefit from the scientific advice, technical support and dedicated research of the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the Commission's science and knowledge service.

The programme will also support collaborative research relating to societal challenges and reinforce technological and industrial capacities through thematic clusters that address the full spectrum of global challenges.

For example, Horizon Europe's Climate Energy and Mobility cluster and the Digital Industry and Space cluster will scale up R&I resources in climate-related domains and ensures that European enterprises have access to the technologies and data they need.

Additionally, the programme will introduce new features such as the European Innovation Council (EIC) and EU missions.

The EIC, which is already running in a pilot phase, will receive over €10 billion to provide support for emerging and breakthrough innovations by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), start-ups, and midcaps. It will complement the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).

EU missions aim to tackle issues that affect daily life, ranging from fighting cancer to adapting to climate change, living in greener cities, ensuring soil health for food, nature, people and climate, and protecting Europe's waters and oceans. 

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