Horizon Europe: spotlight on novelties<p>The European Commission (EC) published its <a title="EC website" href="https://ec.europa.eu/commission/publications/research-and-innovation-including-horizon-europe-iter-and-euratom-legal-texts-and-factsheets_en" target="_blank">proposal</a> for the next European programme for research and innovation (2021-2027).</p><p>‘Horizon Europe’ has a proposed budget of €94,1 billion (in current prices, i.e. inflation taken into account). Based on the EC’s mantra ‘it is an evolution not a revolution’, the structure of Horizon Europe is quite similar to the one of Horizon 2020. Concretely, the future programme is organised in three pillars, namely:</p> <p> </p> <ul> <li>Pillar I ‘Open Science’ [European Research Council (ERC), Marie-Slodowska Curie Actions (MSCA), Research Infrastructures] with a budget of €25,8 bn.</li> <li>Pillar II ‘Global Challenges and Industrial Competitiveness’ (five Clusters – Health; Inclusive and Secure Society; Digital and Industry; Climate, Energy and Mobility; Food and Natural Resources – and the Joint Research Centre) with a budget of €52,7 bn.</li> <li>Pillar III ‘Open Innovation’ [European Innovation Council (EIC), European Innovation Ecosystems, European Institute of Technology and Innovation (EIT)] with a budget of €13,5 bn.</li> </ul> <p> </p> <p>The budget breakdown within Horizon Europe makes innovation and industry-driven research the big winner compared to more fundamental research (e.g. the share of budget allocated to the ERC compared to the total budget is more or less the same in Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe, while MSCA and Research Infrastructures programmes suffer cuts). European stakeholders' organisations, such as <a title="SE reaction on Horizon Europe" href="http://www.scienceeurope.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/20180608-SE_Horizon_Europe_Reaction.pdf" target="_blank">Science Europe</a> and <a title="Position of 14 universities associations" href="http://eua.be/Libraries/publications-homepage-list/universities-united-for-the-best-horizon-europe?utm_source=EUA+Newsletter+Masterlist&utm_campaign=f089c56b0f-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_06_14_09_32&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e5bafc1323-f089c56b0f-59043405" target="_blank">14 European associations</a> representing universities expressed their concerns about this and stated that the ERC and MSCA need more substantial budget increases.</p> <p> </p> <p>The main changes between Horizon Europe and Horizon 2020 are the following:</p> <p> </p> <ul> <li>The article on association is based on a fully new wording. The proposed text puts Switzerland in the generic category of “other countries” along the United Kingdom and Canada while specific reference is made only to European Economic Area (EEA) countries, and not European Free Trade Association (EFTA) anymore. Several conditions (such as a fair balance of contributions and benefits, automatic correction) would apply, while no calculation key for an association fee is given.</li> <li>The five clusters under Pillar II also contain the Key Enabling Technologies of Horizon 2020, extended with artificial intelligence and cybersecurity.</li> <li>Pillar III ‘<a title="SwissCore article" href="https://www.swisscore.org/Pages/Detail.aspx?CrmId={528BF134-6A74-E811-80CB-005056B7191C}&ContentType=scArticle" target="_blank">Open Innovation</a>’ contains the European Innovation Council (EIC), which will be mainly bottom-up and based on individual grants (combined with private investments) for innovators. The EIC will contain an instrument called the Pathfinder, which will be very similar to the current FET-Open instrument under Pillar I or Horizon 2020 and an Accelerator, which will provide blended finance for small companies to scale up.</li> <li>‘Missions’ will be launched (from the budget of Pillar II). The Horizon Europe proposal does not list a series of missions to be supported but proposes a process to define those missions. A handful of missions will be proposed during the strategic planning exercise steered by the EC (involving Member States, experts and stakeholders). Mission Boards will be established in January 2018.</li> <li>The partnerships landscape will be simplified and contain three types of ‘European Partnerships’: co-programmed (without EU funding); co-funded (with EU funding, using a co-fund instrument); institutionalised (i.e. current art. 185 and 187). The strategic planning exercise will be key to define what will be put in place.</li> <li>Open Science (i.e. open access to publications, data, cloud, alternative metrics) will play a more prominent role than under Horizon 2020.</li> </ul> <p> </p> <p>Given the tight negotiation schedules ahead (European Parliament elections in May 2019, new EC in November 2019, Brexit deal to be reached until 29 March 2019), the Horizon Europe Regulation has been bundled with the Rules for Participation. The Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU will however aim at reaching a deal among Member States on the Regulation by the end of November 2018 and the European Parliament until May 2019.</p> <p> </p> <p>While budget cuts may be introduced in the negotiations with EU Member States, there is currently strong political backing for R&I at highest level, with innovation and the digital economy featuring as two of the main priorities for the EU’s future. On top of the budget dedicated to Horizon Europe, several other programmes, such as Euratom, ITER, <a title="SwissCore article" href="https://www.swisscore.org/Pages/Detail.aspx?CrmId={35D0D7D3-6A74-E811-80CB-005056B7191C}&ContentType=scArticle" target="_blank">Digital Europe</a>, InvestEU, <a title="SwissCore article on Erasmus proposal" href="https://www.swisscore.org/Pages/Detail.aspx?CrmId={9851F508-DD64-E811-80CB-005056B7191C}&ContentType=scArticle" target="_blank">Erasmus</a> or the European Defence Fund are currently being released. This embedding of research and innovation throughout different European programmes poses the questions of where synergies can be found with Horizon Europe.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p>Horizon Europe, FP9, EC proposalhttps://www.swisscore.org/Lists/Public/Article/DispForm.aspx?ID=10052018-06-06T22:00:00ZscArticle{8EE32387-186E-E811-80CB-005056B7191C}https://www.swisscore.org/Lists/Public/ArticleImages/flag-2608475_1920.jpg, https://www.swisscore.org/Lists/Public/ArticleImages/flag-2608475_1920.jpg