The European Commission (EC) has today presented the corner stones of its new framework programme Horizon 2020.
For the first time, Horizon 2020 brings together all EU research and innovation funding under a single programme. With Horizon 2020 the EC intents to turn scientific breakthroughs into innovative products and services that provide business opportunities and change people’s lives for the better. At the same time the programme is supposed to drastically cut red tape, with simplification of rules and procedures to attract more top researchers and a broader range of innovative businesses.
Horizon 2020 will focus funds on three key objectives. It aims to
- support the EU’s position as a world leader in science with a dedicated budget of €24.6 billion, including an increase in funding of 77% for the very successful European Research Council (ERC).
- help secure industrial leadership in innovation with a budget of €17.9 billion. This includes a major investment of €13.7 billion in key technologies, as well as greater access to capital and support for SMEs.
- with a budget of €31.7 billion address major concerns shared by all Europeans , across six key themes: Health, demographic change and well-being; Food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime research and the bio-economy; Secure, clean and efficient energy; Smart, green and integrated transport; Climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials; and Inclusive, innovative and secure societies.
Funding provided by Horizon 2020 shall be easier to access thanks to a simpler programme architecture, a single set of rules and less red tape. Horizon 2020 promises adrastically simplified reimbursement by introducing a single flat rate for indirect costs (20%) and only two funding rates - for research (100%) and for close to market activities (70%) respectively; a single point of access for participants; less paperwork in preparing proposals; and no unnecessary controls and audits. One key goal is to reduce the time until funding is received following a grant application by 100 days on average, meaning projects can start more quickly.
For more information please refer to the original EC press release and the official documents.