EU Research Commissioner Carlos Moedas sent the European Parliament and member states a €94.1 billion research budget proposal on Thursday outlining increases in basic science spending and a blueprint for a new innovation council to spawn transformative inventions.
The Commission’s budget breakdown for its next research programme, Horizon Europe, running between 2021 and 2027, devotes the biggest share of funding, €52.7 billion, to a series of projects to tackle climate change, boost digital technologies, improve food, handle other ‘global challenges’ and boost industrial competitiveness.
The balance of the €94.1 billion will go to fund fundamental science and innovation. The total for Horizon Europe represents about 10 per cent of government research funding across the EU.
“We’re aiming higher than ever,” the Commissioner said in an interview Wednesday. Horizon Europe follows the current Horizon 2020, which has provided around €77 billion in research funding. From the start, its competitions have been extremely popular and sometimes heavily over-subscribed.
Moedas is obviously thrilled about the proposed funding increase, which comes at the expense of EU investment in agriculture and poorer regions, the two main staples of the Brussels budget.
His colleagues can’t help but feel a little envious of the budget increase. One commissioner, riding a lift with some journalists in the Berlaymont on Wednesday, said: “When he goes to countries, he goes with money, while I go to issue moral imperatives.” Another, vice-president Jyrki Katainen, said on Thursday that Moedas was “lucky” to have his hands on the portfolio at this moment.
All the numbers announced by Moedas assume no contribution from the UK, although the country has expressed a wish to access the next EU research programme after it has left the EU next March, in exchange for a membership fee, and a large say in how priorities are set. Membership has still to be negotiated, though.
He promises several novelties in Horizon Europe, including ‘moonshot’ missions and new rules to ease foreign access.
Missions, which are not specified in the programme, will get somewhere between €5 – €10 billion, the Commissioner said. “It’s very difficult to create missions today for 2021-2027. So we are just going to set down criteria,” Moedas said. “It would be a little bit arrogant to define the missions now.”
Nevertheless, he gave two examples of possible missions that he feels the European public would get behind and support: finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, and creating zero-carbon boats.
The desire to create missions is also borne out of a niggling feeling the Commissioner has that there is not enough awareness or credit today for EU-funded research. “When IMI [the EU-funded Innovative Medicines Initiative] helped create a new Ebola vaccine in 2015, nobody knew it was us,” Moedas said.
Brussels also wants to tighten and, in its words, streamline the management of public-private research partnerships. “We have too many names, too many acronyms,” Moedas said.
Some ingenuity with numbers means the Commission is claiming a total research budget of €100 billion.
Image Credit: EC Horizon 2020
News This Week
If nanotechnology has one clear image in the collective pop-culture consciousness, it is that of nanorobots, nanoscale machines capable of performing mechanical functions. When considering the potential of such a technology, the more astute may [...]
Artificial intelligence (AI) is clearly a growing force in the technology industry. Chatbots and virtual assistants are becoming a key part of new products, and robots are taking center stage at conferences and showing [...]
In what seems like the blink of an eye, mentions of artificial intelligence have become ubiquitous in the healthcare industry. From deep learning algorithms that can read CT scans faster than humans to natural [...]
The International Conference On Nanomedicine And Nanobiotechnology is an annual event. It hosts high-profile plenary speakers, world-class researchers, oral and poster presentations, workshops, sponsor exhibits and afterworks. It is a great opportunity to share [...]
SYDNEY, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News, app - 14th Sep, 2018 ) :Scientists in Australia have developed a ground-breaking new way to strip impurities from waste water, with the research set to have massive [...]
Two teams of scientists from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have collaborated to conduct groundbreaking research leading to the development of a new and innovative scientific field: Quantum Metamaterials. The findings are presented [...]
A team of eight EPFL students has come up with a portable biosensor that can measure the amount of vancomycin in a patient's blood stream, enabling doctors to better control the dosage and reduce [...]
Researchers have developed a see-through, dual-layered, mesh EEG device which is capable of measuring the electrical activity of individual neurons… Researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital and Northeastern University developed a ‘see-through’ EEG device to [...]