On 27 October, the European Commission presented details of the areas of investment for 2018-2020 for the Horizon 2020 programme and launched the first phase of the European Innovation Council.
The European Innovation Council is supposed to have an initial budget of €2.7 billion to back "cutting-edge innovation". EU Research, Science and Innovation Commissioner, Carlos Moedas, supported the desire expressed by France's President Emmanuel Macron to back this type of innovation, "which creates markets that weren’t there before".
The €2.7 billion budget is only a part of the €30 billion available until 2020 for the Horizon 2020 programme out of the €77 billion granted for the 2014-2020 period. Moedas said a substantial portion of the budget for other areas of spending would go to issues directly responding to European Commission priorities, namely €3.3 billion to be invested for a low-carbon climate-resilient economy, €1 billion for the circular economy, €1.7 billion for the digital transition and transformation of industry and European services, €1 billion for cybersecurity, €200 million for migration, €2.2 billion for clean energy in the form of measures to support renewable energy, electromobility and the energy efficiency of buildings and storage.
It appears that more than €1 billion would be invested in setting up 30 flagship initiatives with non-EU countries from all continents in the world in domains as diverse as medicine and promoting renewable energy. The projects are supposed to aim to benefit all the parties involved.
Basic science appears to be backed to the tune of some €1.86 billion to implement the European Research Council’s annual work programme, and nearly €460 million will provide aid for the member states and non-EU countries associated with the programme but which are not yet fully involved in it.