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Thursday, 20 October 2016

Commission launches public survey on Horizon 2020

The European Commission is inviting researchers, entrepreneurs and innovators to share their views on the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme via a new public consultation launched today (20 October). The public survey will run until mid-January 2017 and there is also a separate consultation on Euratom, the nuclear research and training programme funded under Horizon 2020. In addition some early hints on the orientation for the next EU research and innovation programme have been made.

The consultation, which should take no more than 20 minutes to complete, is part of a broad Commission initiative on the Horizon 2020 mid-term review that will evaluate the achievements of the €72 billion, seven-year Horizon 2020 programme so far and recommend any “course corrections” that could increase its impact through the last calls.

The results of the consultation will also feed into planning for Horizon 2020’s successor programme (aka ‘FP9’) for 2021 and beyond. The Commission will publish a summary of views from the consultation by mid-2017.

The Commission is also gathering views on the European Institute of Innovation and Technology until 20 November and a consultation on public-public and public-private partnerships under Horizon 2020 will also be launched in the near future.

Bohemia for FP9
The European Commission has launched the Bohemia Study, a foresight exercise aiming to ensure the next EU research programme (FP9) is equal to the challenges of the 2030s. The study taskforce will consult with stakeholders and sketch out which emerging technologies and new fields of research should be funded.

“We have asked experts to do a stock take of the different foresight studies by the likes of the OECD and the World Bank,” Robert Jan-Smits, Director-General for Research at the European Commission last week.

The foresight exercise, which will be completed in the second part of 2017 is led by Matthias Weber of the Austrian Institute of Technology. The group has started to work on two scenarios, which are based on a “broad review” of forward-looking reports and analyses.  One scenario sees Europe and its research and innovation investment as one of the key global drivers of change in climate and energy policy, urbanisation, digital healthcare and disease prevention, and security and resilience, while the second scenario is slightly more pessimistic tone and foresees the “perseverance” of current trends and the intensification of existing challenges.

The Commission’s foresight exercise will look at how key individual sectors will evolve by 2030, to identify potential and challenges ahead. These sectors include healthcare, mobility, energy, and controversially the future of security and defence. One cross-cutting area for focus could be autonomous systems.

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