The EC’s EUR 16 billion investment in research and innovation will take place in the next two years under Horizon 2020, following a new Work Programme for 2016-17 adopted recently.
The new funding opportunities offered by the Work Programme are directly aligned with the policy priorities of the Commission of President Jean-Claude Juncker.
They are expected to substantially contribute to the Jobs, Growth and Investment Package, the Digital Single Market, Energy Union and Climate change policy, Internal Market with stronger industry and making Europe a stronger global actor.
The new Work Programme 2016-17 offers funding opportunities through a range of calls for proposals, public procurement and other actions like the Horizon Prizes, together covering nearly 600 topics, according to the press release of the institution.
The program will support a range of cross-cutting initiatives:
- the modernization of Europe’s manufacturing industry (EUR 1 billion);
- technologies and standards for automatic driving (over EUR 100 million);
- the Internet of Things (EUR 139 million) to address digitization of EU industries;
- Industry 2020 in the Circular Economy (EUR 670 million) to develop strong and sustainable economies;
- and smart and sustainable cities (EUR 232 million) to better integrate environmental, transport, energy and digital networks in EU’s urban environments.
- In addition, at least EUR 8 million in funding will be available for research on security of EU’s external borders to help identify and prevent human trafficking and smuggling;
- EUR 27 million for the new technologies to help prevent crime and terrorism
- EUR 15 million for research into the origin and impact of migration flows in Europe.
The new Work Programme will also build on successes in health research, such as the Ebola-related breakthrough discoveries already supported by Horizon 2020, by investing EUR 5 million to respond to the critical outbreak of the damaging olive-tree pest Xylella fastidiosa, according to the press release of the institution.
The new Work Programme is also set on improving the impact of Horizon 2020 funding.
First, it will ensure more money is available for innovative companies thanks to new leveraging opportunities supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments, in addition to over EUR 740 million dedicated to support research and innovation activities in nearly 2,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
The Horizon 2020 was launched on January 1, 2014. Over seven years, EUR 77 billion will be invested in research and innovation projects to support Europe’s economic competitiveness and extend the frontiers of human knowledge.