On June 7, the European Commission has published its proposal for Horizon Europe, the 9th framework programme for research and innovation that will succeed Horizon 2020. The proposal is for a budget of 100 billion euro, which is 25% more than Horizon 2020, but significantly less than the 160 proposed in the Lamy report. Horizon Europe will consist of three pillars:
- Open Science,
which will include the current research torch bearing activities of the ERC grants and the Marie Sklodowska Curie Action grants
- Global Challenges and Industrial Competitiveness,
which will be organised in 5 thematic clusters, and
- Open Innovation
In pillar 2, “missions” will be formulated, which seem to aim for a crosscutting approach connecting disciplines, themes and actors in a more integrative way then before.
In pillar 3, the new kid on the block is the European Innovation Council – heavily endowed with 10 billion or 10% of the budget. The EIC is intended to be the innovation counterpart to the ERC: soliciting top quality proposals from the grass root level, without too much steering on specific topics or predefined outcomes by the Commission.
Among universities there is concern that the pure research flagships of ERC and MSCA will grow only very modestly and fear that too much of the other pillars will be focused on technology and ready-for-market developments.