18 Jul 2019
The last portion of funding for the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme will see €11bn committed to innovation-led sustainable growth that will solve the most ‘crucial’ societal challenges.
To ensure greater impact from Horizon 2020, the European Commission is focusing €11bn on fewer, but more ‘crucial’, projects, such as climate change, plastics and the digital economy.
The political priorities of the Commission are: a low-carbon, climate resilient future (€3.7bn); a circular economy (€1bn); digitising and transforming European industry and services (€1.8bn); and the Security Union (€1bn).
Transforming plastics is high on the agenda, with ten new projects receiving a share of €135m to contribute to the EU Plastics Strategy. Further investments in the chemistry-using industries include €206m to transform energy-intensive sectors into low-carbon, circular industries to lower their environmental footprint, and €132m to the development and production of the next generation of batteries.
‘Horizon 2020 is generating new knowledge and technologies, and has a strong economic impact,’ said Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation. ‘For every €100 we invest through Horizon 2020, we expect to add €850 to our GDP by 2030, creating millions of jobs for Europeans.
‘That is why we have proposed €100bn for the next Horizon Europe programme, to boost the EU’s competitiveness, innovation capacities and scientific intelligence.’
Horizon Europe’s (2021-27) European Innovation Council is currently in its pilot phase and will receive €1.2bn in 2020 to help commercialise innovation and accelerate the scale-up of businesses.