Despite Increase, Research and Innovation Budget Will Not Support Ambitious Plans
The budget for Horizon Europe, the next Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2021-2027), announced today by the European Commission as part of the next Multiannual Financial Framework will not be sufficient to meet Europe’s political goals and solve the challenges that it faces. Science Europe welcomes the mild increase to €97.6 billion, but considers a more substantial commitment required.
“We are concerned that the current proposal will fail to live up to the ambitions of Horizon Europe”, says Stephan Kuster, Secretary General of Science Europe. “The coming budgetary negotiations will be a defining opportunity for Europe to take a leading role in global science and in providing solutions to global challenges, such as climate change, inequality, and public health.”
More ambitious budget needed for knowledge and a resilient European future
As stated in Science Europe’s March 2018 ‘Recommendations on Funding Investment, Research and Innovation, SMEs, and the Single Market After 2020’, the total combined EU, national, and private investment in research and innovation in Europe needs to be higher for the EU to strengthen its competitive position in the creation of knowledge and to become a beacon of scientific excellence. Europe currently does not lack excellence or potential for innovation, it lacks funding: three-quarters of scientifically excellent projects went unfunded under Horizon 2020, the current Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.
Science Europe also urges the European institutions to strengthen tools that have proven successful, such as the European Research Council, and to dedicate a substantial budget to fundamental research: it pushes the frontier of knowledge and establishes a long-term basis for innovation.
“It is now up to the European Parliament and the Council to cement a more ambitious long-term blueprint in the final agreement”, Mr Kuster adds. “A stronger budget is necessary to guarantee that competitive research funding raises the quality and productivity of the research and innovation system.”