The proposed Horizon Europe research funding scheme, the new Horizon 2020, has had approval from the EU parliament to launch in 2021.
Since 2014, the EU research initiative Horizon 2020 has been providing funding for European innovation in biotech as well as other areas of research in academia and industry.
The successor program of Horizon 2020, named Horizon Europe, has been approved by the EU parliament to run from 2021 to 2027. The parliament recommended a budget of up to €120B for the initiative, which is much more ambitious than the almost €80B budget for Horizon 2020. However, the final budget will not be decided until Autumn this year.
In addition to funding academic research across Europe, the program is aimed to tackle key challenges in the biotech industry, such as rising antimicrobial resistance, and environmental pollution. The project is particularly ambitious regarding innovation in climate-related technology, with at least 35% of the budget allocated to the climate change money pot.
The project is also focusing on small enterprises. Horizon Europe will include a newly created European Innovation Council, aimed to fund startups, and commercialize scientific discoveries more quickly than before. This move could benefit lots of European biotech startups with big ideas, but little capital to help them expand.
A further 3.3% of the budget is to be reserved for increasing the participation of countries with low research output. The role of foreign states in this upcoming program is still to be agreed upon.
The UK’s role in Horizon Europe is also unclear as the Brexit situation remains unresolved. However, EU research commissioner Carlos Moedas expects that the UK will be welcome to participate as before. “I will fight for having the UK on board,” he said to Science|Business. “I hope that the UK also fights for that.”
Images from Shutterstock