As its name says, the current framework programme, Horizon 2020, is getting close to its end. While many calls for proposals still are open to European research and innovation stakeholders, the next programme, Horizon Europe, is being shaped day by day.

Preparing the implementation of Horizon Europe

In April 2019, the European Parliament and Council reached an agreement on Horizon Europe and gave green light to the Commission to start preparing the implementation and strategic planning of the new programme. This process focuses in particular on Horizon Europe’s second pillar “Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness”. The first step will be to develop the initial Horizon Europe Strategic Plan for the years 2021-2024. This plan will identify major policy drivers, strategic policy priorities and targeted impacts to be achieved. It will also identify missions and European partnerships. The intention is that the plan should be endorsed by the next Commission towards the end of 2019, in order for the new calls for proposals to be launched on 1 January 2021.

Since the beginning of this process, Commissioner Moedas has insisted on the importance of making sure that EU-funded R&D is open to the needs of all stakeholders, including citizens. In order to meet this requirement, the programme includes also the new “missions”. These major R&D and innovation initiatives are aimed at breaking the “silos” of different research disciplines that have the common goal of tackling major societal challenges such as cancer, the increased pollution of our oceans or the climate neutrality of smart cities.

Make your voice heard

To be sure to hear all the different voices, the European Commission has launched a range of initiatives offering opportunities to various stakeholders to provide their input. The major one is the Research and Innovation Days, a three-day conference taking place in Brussels on 24-26 September 2019. The event hosted tens of different thematic and strategic sessions, where more than 3,000 attendees could directly give their opinion on scientific and implementation matters.

In parallel, a number of public consultations have opened to collect input from a wider range of people than only those who can attend a conference. One consultation focuses on strategic planning. Another one is on the implementation strategy, a tool to focus attention, planning efforts and resources to the rules, processes, systems, documents and guidance, so that they are ready in time for the programme start. As public-private partnerships will also play key role in Horizon Europe, 12 consultations concern institutionalised partnerships, in which dedicated structures are established together with Member States, the Commission and industries to tackle strategic objectives for the European continent.

In order to ensure your voice is heard in Brussels, do not hesitate to respond to these consultations. You can also always reach out to Luxinnovation’s European R&D and Innovation Support team. The team members are available to provide clarifications and advice and discuss how your innovation strategy can be aligned with the European priorities for you to succeed with your transition to and participation in Horizon Europe.

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