Council of EU Approves €95.5 Billion Programme for Research & Innovation

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The Council of the European Union has approved the first reading on Horizon Europe, a framework program for research and innovation for the years 2021-2027.

In a press release issued by the Council, the latter explains it has adopted a proposal for this program to be granted with a €95.5 billion fund.

According to Erudera.com, Horizon Europe follows up on a deal conducted last December with EU Parliament that permits a rapid adaptation for this regulation and makes it favorable for Horizon Europe to be adopted at second reading.

Commenting on the move of the Council, the Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education in Portugal, Manuel Heitor, said that the adoption of the Council’s position is one step away from the final adoption for the most ambitious EU research and innovation program so far.

“Our researchers are given the necessary tools for their valuable contribution to our resilient economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and the swift transition towards a green and digital economy,” Minister Heitor stated.

The regulation establishes the structure and objectives of the program, the budget, the forms of funding, and this fund’s rules. Approximately thirty-five percent of the outlays for actions funded under the program will have to be allocated to climate objectives.

The document also regulates the cooperation between the EU and third countries in the research and innovation area.

Compared to Horizon 2020, which was operated from 2014 to 2020, Horizon Europe 2021-2027 introduces:

  • a collective approach to address social problems,
  • a practical approach regarding European partnerships,
  • a mission-oriented method,
  • the European Innovation Council (EIC),
  • highlight openness towards new partners while keeping excellence as the leading selection standard,
  • simplified rules, greater legal certainty, and fewer administrative strains for beneficiaries and program administrators.

Following the political agreement conducted last December between the co-legislators, the European Parliament is awaited to approve the Council’s position in April 2021. The regulation will then be considered to have been officially approved. In agreement, it will apply from January 1, 2021.

The first reading of the Council’s position on March 16 aims to improve the Europeans’ research and innovation.

“It is an objective of the Union to strengthen its scientific and technological bases by strengthening the European research area in which researchers, scientific knowledge and technology circulate freely and encouraging it to become more competitive, including in its industry, while promoting all research and innovation activities to deliver on the Union’s strategic priorities and commitments,” the official document reads.

The Commission discussed the Horizon Europe proposal during 2018, following Horizon 2020, which had a dedicated budget of €70.2 billion.

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