Horizon 2020: €8.5 billion in research and innovation in 2017
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    Horizon 2020: €8.5 billion in research and innovation in 2017

    The European Commission has updated the 2017 work programme of Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation scheme. Spanning seven years (2014 to 2020) and working with an overall budget of €77 billion, Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU research and innovation funding programme ever.

    The Commission confirmed on 25 July the calls and other actions of the second year of the two-year work programmes setting out funding opportunities for 2017. The calls and other actions under the current work programme updates have a budget of €8.5 billion. All the calls and related information are published on a single portal.

    “The response to the Horizon 2020 calls has been immense, with around more than 90,000 eligible proposals submitted in the past two and a half years,” said Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation.

    “We are now giving innovation an additional boost by making open research data the norm: from now on, the scientific community and innovative businesses can access research information more easily and affordably.”

    He was referring the current Open Research Data Pilot that will be extended to cover all thematic areas of Horizon 2020, making open research data the default setting. However, projects where research data cannot be open will have the possibility to opt out of the pilot.

    Among the key priorities in 2017 will be around €1.45 billion of funding to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), including €438 million through a dedicated instrument which should benefit over 1000 highly innovative SMEs.

    Furthermore, through the European Research Council (ERC), the best researchers will be able to investigate the best ideas that could lead to innovative growth-enhancing breakthroughs. In 2017 alone, almost €1.8 billion – worth around 1000 grants – will be available through ERC calls.

    The Commission underlines that the programme also reacts to topical developments by reinforcing research into migration. The €11 million package of migration actions aims to bring together pertinent research communities to map, assemble and synthesise currently running migration research in Europe.

    It will compare national asylum laws and policies, including their implementation under stress, and identify ways for more harmonisation. It will also make policy recommendations on how to facilitate labour market integration of migrants.

    The Fight against crime and terrorism part of the Security calls, with a budget of €49 million, will develop new ways of fighting and preventing organised crime and tackling terrorist ideas and beliefs, while guaranteeing fundamental rights and values.

    Funding opportunities under Horizon 2020 are set out in multiannual work programmes, which cover the large majority of support available. The work programmes are prepared by the European Commission. Two year work programmes announce the specific areas that will be funded by Horizon 2020.

    Most of Horizon 2020 supports collaborative research projects where at least three organisations from different countries form a consortium.

    The online Participant Portal  can be used as a calendar for the calls for proposals (‘calls’), to be published during the year. The Participant Portal is an entry point for electronic administration of EU-funded research and innovation projects, and hosts the services for managing proposals and projects throughout their lifecycle.

    O.Apelblat
    The Brussels Times