EUR 100 Billion Innovation Fund Will Reach for the Stars
The European Commission’s science and innovation fund will be bolstered to seek out cutting edge projects that will ‘inspire people in the same way as the moon landings did’, EU Commissioner Carlos Moedas has announced.
He said the focus would be on disruptive innovations and finance for missions that would capture the imagination of EU citizens, although he added that exactly what they would be had not yet been decided.
Moedas, who leads on Research, Science and Innovation, told journalists that ‘big ideas’ for bold and achievable projects over the next decade would be chosen by a ‘mission board’ of experts and state representatives.
The planned Horizon Europe program, due to be discussed by governments, will have EUR 95 billion available between 2021 and 2027 for projects led by European scientists and projects, up from the EUR 78 billion allocated to Horizon 2020.
With the United Kingdom expected to have departed the EU by then, that would mean more money to be shared between fewer countries if the plan is approved as part of the EU’s long-term budget, known as the multiannual financial framework (MFF).
Moedas said the new approach would tackle 21st century society issues which cannot be resolved by individual states and these would fall under five main banners, or clusters. They are:
- Digital and industry
- Climate and energy
- Food and resources
- Inclusive and secure society
He said the Commission also aims to throw its support behind ‘disruptive innovations’ that will open up new markets and create jobs, meaning more money would be available for the new European Innovation Council (EIC).
The push for disruptive innovation is gaining momentum in Europe. French President Emmanuel Macron has come out in support of it and German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for more cutting-edge innovations to be explored.
How or if to include the UK in EU research projects after Brexit has not been decided, Moedas said, adding that he was hopeful of finding a workable solution.
- Britain is still pondering whether or not to set up a satellite navigation system if its own amid a dispute over its post-Brexit access to the EU’s Galileo Project for security reasons.
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