HORIZON BLOG: European R&D policy newsbytes

28 Nov 2023 | Live Blog

Horizon Europe is well underway, but the world of European R&D policy goes well beyond the confines of the €95.5 billion R&D programme. EU climate, digital, agriculture and regional policies all have significant research and innovation components. National governments often come up with new R&D policies, decide to fund new research avenues, and set up international cooperation deals. This blog aims to keep you informed on all of that and more.

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You can read the full archive of this blog here.


The European Commission has announced Lisbon as the winner of the European capital of innovation Awards for 2023, with Linköping in Sweden crowned this year’s “rising innovative city”.

The Portuguese capital pipped Warsaw (Poland) and Lviv (Ukraine) to the title, while Padova (Italy) and Cork (Ireland) were runners up in the rising innovative city category. The prizes are granted under Horizon Europe.

Research and innovation Commissioner Iliana Ivanova awarded the prizes during a ceremony in Marseille. The winners are “shining examples of how cities can use innovation to reshape the urban landscape, tackle demographic and economic challenges and work for the benefit of their residents,” she said.


The German Research Foundation (DFG) has welcomed the federal government’s adoption of its national action plan for the European Research Area (ERA).

The plan represents a commitment to make the European regulatory framework more “researcher-friendly”, the DFG said.

It also provides for the creation of a German Forum for European Research and Innovation Policy, dubbed Forum.EU, to promote coherence between regional, national and European research policy.

“The planned involvement of a large number of stakeholders in Forum.EU, including the various federal and state government departments in particular, has the potential to create genuine added value,” said DFG president Katja Becker.


The latest findings from the World Health Organization's Global Observatory on Health Research and Development (R&D) have highlighted the disparities in health research funding across the world.

The observatory, which launched in 2017, recently published commentary reflecting on its first five years of existence.

Data shows that in 2020 for example just 0.2% of all grant funding for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) was allocated to institutions in low- and middle-income countries, where an estimated 7 out of 10 NCD deaths occur.

There are also disparities in terms of higher education opportunities and human resources, with high-income countries having around 56 times more health researchers per million inhabitants than low-income countries.


Brussels and New Delhi have signed a deal outlining a several cooperative actions on semiconductors, including joint research and development.

The EU and India held their first Trade and Technology Council last May, a similar forum to one established between Brussels and Washington in 2021. This latest memorandum of understanding agrees to make semiconductors a regular part of these councils between the EU and India.

The memorandum says that India and the EU will scope out “areas for mutually beneficial collaboration in research, development and innovation in semiconductor technologies, including advanced packaging technologies, design and raw materials”.

They also promised to exchange information about supply chain disruptions and each other’s training programmes.


London and Seoul have signed an agreement to work more closely together in areas like artificial intelligence, semiconductors, space, quantum technologies and engineering biology.

During a state visit by president Yoon Suk Yeol to the UK, the countries agreed a raft of measures to bolster science and technology ties.

This includes a £4.5 million fund for joint research and innovation; exchanges of quantum scientists; and a new implementation agreement to reboot a previous cooperation deal from 1985.


Prototypes, small-scale experiments and exploratory research will receive up to £150,000 from a new fund to speed up the development of clean technologies.

Announcing the fund, Imperial College London and Technical University of Munich said the money will go to “the most innovative ideas and technologies that offer disruptive impact.” 

The aim of the Imperial-TUM Zero Pollution Advanced Fund to also attract funding and partnerships from industry as well.


he 2023 call for proposals for the Innovation Fund – set up to finance decarbonising technologies – opens today with a record budget of €4 billion. 

Cleantech manufacturing projects will get a big boost with the budget doubled to €1.4 billion. These are projects aimed at strengthening industrial manufacturing capacity, technology leadership, and supply chain resilience in Europe. 

The Innovation Fund provides investment for the development and deployment of new technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combating climate change.

It is financed through the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS). This works by setting a cap on the amount of emissions that certain companies produce. Those that produce fewer emissions than the set limit can sell their unused allowance to other companies. The EU is able to use some of that revenue to pump into the Innovation Fund. 


The European Research Council has announced 308 new winners of this year’s consolidator grants, aimed at supporting early career scientists. The researchers will receive a total of €627 million in funding. 

There were a total of 2,130 candidates for the grants, but ERC president Maria Leptin expressed her disappointment at not being able to fund more of them. 

“It is disappointing that we cannot support every deserving project simply due to budget constraints,” she said.

Around 100 proposals were identified as excellent but have not been funded. “Can Europe afford to let such talent go unrealised?” Leptin asked.


The European Commission is looking for members to join a new expert group on technology infrastructures. 

The group will advise the Commission on strengthening European technology infrastructure policy and help identify strategic pilot areas for investments. 

The call for applications is open until 11 December. 


The European Parliament has given its final approval to the 2024 EU budget deal negotiated earlier this month.  

The agreement includes a €85 million top-up for research and innovation negotiated by the Parliament, bringing the total Horizon Europe budget for next year to €12.9 billion. 

The Council of member states endorsed the deal earlier this week. It’s now ready to be signed into law. 


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