On 30 November the Commission adopted the "Horizon 2020" package (research framework programme, worth EUR 80 billion for the period 2014-2020). The package consists of the following 6 legislative proposals: • Horizon 2020 Regulation, laying down the general objectives, rationale and Union added value, the financial envelope and provisions on control, monitoring and evaluation (codecision); • Rules for Participation, laying down the modes of funding and reimbursement of costs, conditions for participation, selection and award criteria and the rules on ownership, exploitation and dissemination of results (codecision); • Specific Programme H2020, laying down the implementation modalities and the content in terms of the broad lines of activities (consultation); • a separate proposal for the part of Horizon 2020 corresponding to the Euratom Treaty (consultation); • EIT Regulation (codecision); • EIT Strategic Innovation Agenda (codecision);
The last 2 files are part of the Horizon 2020 package, but fall politically under the responsibility of Commissioner Vassiliou (Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth).
The programme has three key pillars: 1) supporting the EU’s position as a world leader in science with a dedicated budget of €24.6 billion, 2) help securing industrial leadership in innovation, key technologies and access to capital and support for SMEs a budget of €17.9 billion, and 3) addressing with a budget of €31.7 billion 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.
Most important novelties of the proposed programme: • Stronger focus on ‘societal challenges’ and competitiveness; • Better integration of research and innovation (seamless and coherent funding from idea to market, including the EIT and the former CIP programme) and more support for innovation and activities close to the market; • Simplification (simpler programme architecture, single set of rules, less red tape through an easy to use cost reimbursement model, less paperwork, fewer controls and audits, etc); • More possibilities for new entrants and young, promising scientists.