As highlighted in yesterday’s blogpost, funding for Horizon 2020 will now be structured around three priority areas. Below outlines in more detail the areas included in this:
I. Societal Challenges
This will be in response to EU policy and will focus on 6 areas:
- Health, demographic change and well-being;
- Food security, sustainable agriculture and the bio-economy;
- Secure, clean and efficient energy;
- Smart, green and integrated transport;
- Climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials;
- Inclusive, innovative and secure societies.
The emphasis will be on bringing together a critical mass of resources and knowledge across different fields, technologies and scientific disciplines in order to address challenges and activities will cover the full cycle from research to market, with a focus on innovation-related activities, such as piloting, demonstration, test-beds, support for public procurement, social innovation and market take-up of innovations. Finally, social sciences and humanities shall be an integral part of the activities to address all the challenges.
II. Excellent Science
This will reinforce and extend the excellence of the EUs science base in order to make the EU research and innovation system more competitive on a global scale. This will be funded under 4 programmes:
- Marie Curie actions will provide excellent and innovative research training plus attractive career and knowledge-exchange opportunities through cross-border and cross-sector mobility of researchers to best prepare them to face current and future societal challenges.
- European Research Council (ERC) will provide attractive and flexible funding to enable talented and creative individual researchers and their teams to pursue the most promising avenues at the frontier of science;
- Future and Emerging Technologies will support collaborative research in order to extend Europe‘s capacity for advanced and paradigm-changing innovation. They foster scientific collaboration across disciplines on radically new, high-risk ideas and accelerate development of the most promising emerging areas of science and technology as well as the EU-wide structuring of the corresponding scientific communities.
- Research Infrastructures will develop European research infrastructure for 2020 and beyond, foster their innovation potential and human capital, and add the related European Union policy and international cooperation.
These activities are focused on building skills in the long term and on the next generation of science, technology, researchers and innovations and providing support for emerging talent from across the whole of the European Union and associated countries, as well as worldwide.
III. Industrial Leadership
This aims to speed up development of the technologies and innovations that will underpin future businesses and help innovative SMEs to grow into world-leading companies. It consists of three specific objectives:
- Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies which will provide dedicated support for research, development and demonstration on ICT, nanotechnology, advanced materials, biotechnology, advanced manufacturing and processing and space. Emphasis will be placed on interactions and convergence across and between the different technologies.
- Access to risk finance in order to overcome deficits in the availability of debt and equity finance for innovative companies and projects at all stages of development (including supporting the development of Union-level venture capital)
- Innovation in SMEs which will stimulate all forms of innovation in SMEs, targeting those with the potential to grow and internationalise across the single market and beyond.
Horizon 2020 will take an integrated approach to the participation of SMEs, which could lead to around 15% of the total combined budgets for all specific objectives on societal challenges and the specific objective on ‘Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies’ being devoted to SMEs.
The ‘Societal Challenges ‘ theme and Marie Curie Actions found in the ‘Excellent Science’ theme are most relevant to BU staff and therefore Wednesday and Thursday’s blog posts will focus on these respectively.