Thursday, 28 July 2016

Horizon 2020: 2017 work programme announced!

This week (25 July) the European Commission unveiled its updated Horizon 2020 work programme for 2017. The packages announced by the Commission confirmed that in 2017 Horizon 2020 will support a range of SusChem relevant initiatives including Industry 2020 in the Circular Economy (€325 million) to develop strong and sustainable economies; Green Vehicles (€133 million); and Smart and Sustainable Cities (€115 million) to better integrate environmental, transport, energy and digital networks in the EU's urban environments.

Don’t forget you can find out more – and start building your project consortia for 2017 Horizon 2020 calls – at the SusChem Brokerage event on Tuesday 13 September in Seville.

In addition it was announced by Commissioner Moedas that for 2017 open research data will be introduced as the ‘norm’ for all new Horizon 2020 calls: projects funded under the programme will be required to offer free online access to all scientific data produced. The Commission believes that this move will boost competitiveness by accelerating innovation and collaboration, improving transparency, and avoiding duplication of efforts.

However, the Commission is aware that there are cases where research data cannot be open. Projects therefore have the possibility to opt out of the scheme, provided a valid justification is given such as protection of intellectual property.

A further new element in Horizon 2020 will be the use of Data Management Plans (DMPs), detailing what data the project will generate, whether and how it will be made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved. The use of a DMP is required for projects participating in the Open Research Data Pilot. Other projects are invited to submit a DMP if relevant for their planned research but only funded projects are required to submit a DMP.

2017 key priorities
The Commission wants the 2017 Horizon 2020 work programme update to support competitiveness through open science. The calls and other actions under the current work programme updates have a budget of €8.5 billion. All the calls and related information are published on a single portal and build on the success of Horizon 2020 to date.

The Horizon 2020 Work Programme is directly aligned with the agenda of the Commission. It will contribute to the Jobs, Growth and Investment Package helping to strengthen Europe’s global competitiveness through innovation to create new and sustainable jobs and promote growth.

The 2017 announcement highlighted six priorities:
  • A new Boost for Jobs, Growth and Investment - Research and innovation investments will cover both the immediate need to engage the re-industrialisation of Europe as well as the longer-term objective of building solid knowledge needed for the next wave of innovative breakthroughs. This includes around €1.45 billion of funding for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), including €438 million through a dedicated instrument which should benefit over 1 000 highly innovative SMEs.
  • A Stronger Global Actor, Towards a New Policy on Migration, and an Area of Justice and Fundamental Rights Based on Mutual Trust – this demonstrates the flexibility of Horizon 2020 to address topical issues including an €11 million package of migration actions and €49 million to assist research on the Fight against crime and terrorism. 
  • A Resilient Energy Union with a Forward-Looking Climate Change Policy – to ensure that Europe has secure, affordable and climate-friendly energy including initiatives to close the water cycle gap, by reconciling water supply and demand in both quantitative and qualitative terms with a budget of €10 million in the 'Greening the economy' call and research to support the future development of a production base for next generation Lithium battery cells or post-lithium battery cells under the Green Vehicles cPPP.  In total the 2017 energy calls dedicate more than €84 million for developing energy storage systems improving the flexibility of the energy grid to integrate an increasing share of renewables.
  • A Deeper and Fairer Internal Market with a Strengthened Industrial Base – this priority includes a call on Industry 2020 in the Circular Economy (€225 million) which will contribute to boosting and renewing Europe's industrial capacities while ensuring sustainability and a call on personalised medicine (€332 million).
  • A Connected Digital Single Market – to address existing barriers that access and providing innovative digital solutions including in electronics, computing, networking, robotics, photonics and cybersecurity.
  • Cross-cutting and other features - supporting a range of cross-cutting initiatives in 2017 including Industry 2020 in the Circular Economy (€325 million) and Smart and Sustainable Cities (€115 million).
Research Integrity
The EU's Horizon 2020 research funding programme has now a more specific set of rules on research integrity to be followed by beneficiaries. The revamped model agreement provides more clarity on previously general requirements contained in Article 34 of the agreement. The article now explicitly calls for beneficiaries to respect the principles of honesty, reliability, objectivity, impartiality, open communication, duty of care, and fairness and responsibility for future science generations.

The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity has recently been revised in a process led by All European Academies (ALLEA), and once updated, in January 2017, the new code together with the revised Article 34 will constitute an effective mechanism to promote adherence to the highest standards of research integrity across Europe.

European Parliament Safeguards Horizon 2020 Funding
Meanwhile earlier this month the European Parliament adopted an own-initiative report that calls on the Commission and the European Council to support the report’s proposal to safeguard Europe’s research and innovation budget in the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF).

In its report, the European Parliament “regrets that the portion of the EU budget dedicated to research and innovation has often been the first to be affected by any cuts in the budget” and demands an increase to the ceiling of the competitiveness heading of the MFF in order to compensate for European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) related cuts.

More information

The SusChem Brokerage event will also outline SusChem relevant work package details and help participants to find project partners and start their Horizon 2020 journey! Register today

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