Horizon Europe: What is the Commission proposing?

On 7 June, the Commission published a proposal for a regulation establishing the ninth Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (FP9), which has been named “Horizon Europe” and will cover the period 2021-2027.

The overall FP9 structure is largely based on the existing structure of Horizon 2020 and on the recommendations of the “Lamy report” published on July 2017 by the independent High-Level Group on maximising the impact of EU Research and Innovation programmes chaired by Pascal Lamy, President Emeritus of the Jacques Delors Institute.

In this context, a key element of the discussions that will be held in the coming months is the overall budget allocated to Horizon Europe. The Commission, which was proud to announced that this would be the biggest ever research and innovation funding programme, proposed to allocate a budget of €97.9 billion, including €3.5 billion allocated under the InvestEU Fund (a Programme which brings together under one roof the EU financial instruments currently available).

A three-pillar structure

The proposed structure is based on three pillars: Open Science, Global Challenges, Open Innovation.

  1. Open Science Pillar (€25.8 billion) – The first pillar on Open Science will ensure continuity with Horizon 2020 with a bottom-up approach in order to reinforce the Union’s scientific leadership, high-quality knowledge and skills development, through the European Research Council, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and research infrastructures.
  2. Global Challenges Pillar (€52.7 billion) – The second pillar on Global Challenges and Industrial Competitiveness will take forward the societal challenges and industrial technologies in a more ‘top down’ directed approach addressing Union and global policy and competitiveness challenges and opportunities. This pillar will be built on five clusters: (1) ‘health’; (2) ‘inclusive and secure society’; (3) ‘digital and industry’; (4) ‘climate, energy and mobility’; and (5) ‘food and natural resources’.
  3. Open Innovation Pillar – The third pillar on Open Innovation will focus on scaling up innovation by establishing a European Innovation Council and support the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).

Rules for participation and dissemination

The Commission proposal aims at simplifying the rules for beneficiaries of European funds. To this end, the following measures are introduced by the proposal:

  • Principle of a single set of rules – The rules applicable to all Union funding programmes will be aligned.
  • Funding – Horizon 2020 funding rates will be maintained. The funding rate will be a maximum that can be reduced when justified for implementing specific actions.
  • Cost reimbursement – The cost reimbursement scheme will be further simplified, in particular in relation to the actual costs scheme for personnel costs: the distinction between basic and additional remuneration will be removed and the Horizon 2020 cap on the additional remuneration abolished.
  • Cost accounting practice – The unit cost for internally invoiced goods and services will make it possible to cover actual indirect costs calculated in accordance with the usual cost accounting practices.
  • Audits and assessments – A wider cross-reliance on audits and assessments (including with other Union programmes) is envisaged. This should reduce the administrative burden on beneficiaries of Union funds by further aligning the rules.
  • Participant Guarantee Fund – The Participant Guarantee Fund (renamed Mutual Insurance Mechanism) will be extended to all forms of institutionalised partnerships.
  • Dissemination and exploitation – Most provisions of the Horizon 2020 rules for participation and dissemination are maintained, with further improvements where appropriate. This includes reinforcing the focus on exploitation, in particular within the Union and the role of the plan for the dissemination and exploitation during and after the end of the project. Moreover, the Commission will provide dedicated support to dissemination, exploitation and knowledge diffusion and put more emphasis on promoting the exploitation of R&I results.
  • Communication by the beneficiaries of Union funds – In line with the recommendations of the Lamy report, the Rules underline the role of beneficiaries in providing coherent, effective and proportionate targeted information to multiple audiences, including the media and the public. Building on experience in Horizon 2020, guidance to beneficiaries will show how they can become principal communicators of all aspects of their project activities.
  • Open Science – A few actions are envisaged to ensure better exploitation of R&I results within the Union through Open Science:
    • o  Working with R&I stakeholders to make the European Open Science Cloud a reality;
    • o  Strengthening the European data space and creating the necessary incentives for programme beneficiaries and innovators to share their results and data for reuse;
    • o  Putting in place incentives for the exploitation of Programme results by helping beneficiaries to find the most appropriate instruments and channels for market uptake of their innovation;
    • o  Putting in place a strategy for increasing the availability of R&I results and accelerating their uptake, including for policy, thereby boosting the overall impact of the programme and the European innovation potential;
    • o  Providing support throughout the dissemination and exploitation lifecycle to ensure a constant stream of innovation coming from the programme.

Next steps

The proposal and the accompanying impact assessment are open for feedback until 16 August 2018, on the European Commission’s website here.

The Council and the Parliament will now start discussing and amending the proposal in view of adopting the final legal framework establishing Horizon Europe that will apply from 1 January 2021. 

The Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy is responsible for the file. Dan Nica (S&D, Romania) has been appointed rapporteur. Together with the shadow rapporteurs – Christian Ehler (EPP, Germany), Evzen Tosenovsky (ECR, Czech Republic), Lieve Wierinck (ALDE, Belgium), Neoklis Sylikiotis (GUE/NGL, Cyprus), Jakop Dalunde (Greens/EFA, Sweden) and Barbara Kappel (ENF, Austria) – and the committees for opinion, Mr. Nica will develop the Parliament’s position on the Commission proposal. 

Date: 09/07/2018 | Tag: | News: 802 of 1581
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