Thursday, 1 December 2011

Horizon 2020 Proposal Published

Get ready with the party poppers. Cue the scratchy copy of 'Ode to Joy' on the turntable. Don the cardboard hats depicted the flags of all (EU) nations. For yesterday the EC officially published the proposal for Horizon 2020. Hurray!

This marks the formal beginning of the new Framework Programme, by which the European Commission will distribute its research funding. There's been plenty of rumour and discussion as it has developed so far, but the publication yesterday gives us the starting point for the EC's negotiations with the European Parliament and Council, before the proposals are adopted at the end of 2013, and H2020 begins in January 2014.

The EC has set up a new website to mark the occasion. Here you can read about the background to the development of the proposal for Horizon 2020, and a timeline to outline key milestones in the forthcoming discussions as well as more details on each of the proposed areas and links to key documentation.

Better still, there's a page on which a new video will be added each day in the run up to the launch of Horizon 2020. That's 731 videos! I bet after the first 100 they'll be running short of ideas and taking the best viral hits from YouTube as their own. Watch out for an appearance by Benton/Fenton.

In summary, the Commission has proposed a budget of €80bn for the seven year Framework. It will be based on three specific objectives:

1. Excellent Science (EUR 24.6 billion) which will include:
  • European Research Council (EUR 13.2 billion; 77% increase compared to FP7 funding for ERC);
  • Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) (EUR 3.1 billion);
  • Marie Curie Actions (EUR 5.75 billion) ; and
  • Research Infrastructures (EUR 2.4 billion).
2. Industrial Leadership (EUR 17.9 billion)
  • Key industrial technologies: nanotechnologies, information communication technologies, biotechnologies and space (EUR 13.7 billion);
  • Access to risk finance (EUR 3.5 billion); and
  • Support to SMEs with high growth potential.
3.Societal Challenges (EUR 31.7 billion)
  • Health, demographic change and well-being;
  • Food security, sustainable agricultures, marine and maritime research and the bio-based economy;
  • Secure, clean and efficient energy;
  • Smart, green and integrated transport;
  • Climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials; and
  • Inclusive, innovative and secure societies.
In addition, the European Institute of Technology (EIT) will have a budget of EUR 2.8 billion to fund six new Knowledge Innovation Communities. The first KIC call will be in 2014 and will include:
  • innovation for healthy living and active ageing;
  • food4future; and
  • raw materials.
A second wave will be published in 2018 with proposed topics of added value manufacturing, smart secure societies and urban mobility.

So watch this space as the proposal develops, and make sure to visit the EC's own Video Vault. Thanks, as ever, to UKRO for the headsup on this.

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