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Since Commission President Ursula von der Leyen took office in 2019, she has continuously highlighted research and innovation (R&I) as a critical driver of Europe’s green and digital transformations, and central to its global competitiveness. More recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has driven home the value to society of scientific excellence and cooperation – even if member states appeared at times to overlook that during negotiations over the next EU budget and recovery plan.
Now that the key numbers have finally been agreed, Horizon Europe – the next R&I Framework Programme – is gearing up to launch, supported by €95.5 billion in funding. Yet as it does, important questions remain as to how great an impact Horizon will ultimately have, as a bridge between crisis and recovery and as a foundation for rebuilding Europe’s societies and economies. Can the Commission establish genuine synergies between Horizon and other flagship programmes? Will member states and associated countries align their own resources and programmes with Europe’s R&I ambitions? And in the global context, can Europe realistically expect to achieve its strategic goals – in domains such as climate and AI – without China and the US on board?
By extension, Europe’s R&I communities keenly await news of how Horizon will be implemented. Will the programme ensure that stronger pathways are laid between fundamental science and market competitiveness, a compelling value proposition defined for industry, and citizens actively engaged? How will the European Green Deal be embedded across every aspect of Horizon’s structure and activities? Will mission-oriented approaches inspire deep change in science and technology development? And, of equal importance, how will success and impact be determined for the future recipients of Horizon funding?
On February 22 and 23, Science|Business will convene leading figures from across its own Network and the international R&I spectrum to address these issues in more depth.
For more information on this event, please contact Janni Ekrem at [email protected]