Moverim has recently participated to the conference on the Launch of Horizon Europe, organized by the Portuguese Presidency of the European Council. The aim of the conference has been the official launch of the new Research and Innovation Work Programme. During the event, research and industry representatives, as well as policymakers, reflected on how to implement the eco-sustainable and digital transition of Europe using two main tools: Horizon Europe and Next Generation EU. In addition, they talked about the introduction of a renewed European Research Area, to manage funds with more flexibility.
Horizon Europe: purpose and lines of action
Manuel Heitor, the Portuguese minister of science, technology, and education, started the conference by pointing out how “Winners” are those who are promoting science, research, and innovation, especially in this critical period of the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, Europe needs more scientists and hence has to foster career opportunities for researchers. The aim is to allocate 3% of the GDP of EU Member States for the development of research and innovation.
European Union must increase the use of green technologies as well as encourage the digital transition, but only cooperation among all research disciplines could lead to concrete results. The main challenge is to create greater coordination within the European Research Area and to push member States to create connections between R&I-oriented fundings and the Horizon Europe Programme.
The Horizon Europe Programme will be implemented through the following lines of action:
1. Promotion of the dialogue between science – employment – business capacity: the aim is not just the allocation of more generous funds for scientific development, but also the promotion of new job opportunities to create a society in which the economic sector, research, technology, and academic institutions can work together. Science and technology are essential for the creation of new markets and informing citizens about the importance of research and innovation could generate new jobs. It is also necessary to improve working conditions of the sectors particularly affected during the Covid-19 pandemic.
2. Research collaboration to expand knowledge in specific areas: cancer research, GMO, universe physics, the development of nanotechnologies and quantum physics. It is strictly necessary to promote research that could face other potential pandemics in the best way.
3. Support to researcher careers from both private and public sector. Europe need new scientists and the only way to prevent them from leaving Europe is to guarantee them adequate research fundings. Collaboration between national agencies and European Commission is becoming increasingly crucial.
Horizon Europe: news and “missions”
Following this speech is the intervention of Mariya Gabriel, European commissioner of instruction, culture, multilingualism, and youth. Horizon Europe’s renewed budget is of 95,5 billion euros which is a bigger investment than its predecessor Horizon 2020, through this initiative the aim of the Commission is to ensure: – More quality in conducting new researches. – Transformation of innovative ideas in concrete innovations for SME. – Support for the excellence and for the promotion of ecologic and socioeconomic transformation in all the EU regions.
At the same time, the creation of the European Research Area aims to: – Promote research careers in Europe with particular attention to gender equality and better working conditions. In addition, collaboration between education, research and innovation (knowledge triangle) is encouraged through the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT); – Encourage the development of a sustainable economy. – Strengthen the links between society and science through the direct participation of citizens.
Commission is working to complete the last administrative and legal steps to officially launch the work programmes and the calls for application, expected for the month of April.