HORIZON BLOG: European R&D policy newsbytes

28 Sep 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.

If you have any tips, please email them at [email protected].

You can read the full archive of this blog here.


The joint AU-EU innovation agenda is almost ready for signing, after representatives of both blocks met last week to discuss the final draft.  

The agenda proposes short, medium and long-term objectives and actions for research and innovation in public health, the green transition, technology and capacities for science. 

It’s been in the making since the first EU-AU ministerial meeting on R&I in 2020 and is set to be adopted in the second such meeting next month. 


The European University Association (EUA), alongside several fellow associations that represent universities and university libraries, has called for the EU’s co-legislators to ensure that the proposed Data Act ensure fair access to data for research purposes.

In a joint statement, EUA, CESAER, the Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities, Knowledge Rights 21, LIBER Europe and Sparc Europe say that new EU data policies should take into account the role and situation of universities.

Their recommendations are available here.


The League of European Research Universities (LERU) and the EU-LIFE research association say the European Commission should resist calls to ban a full phase-out of animal testing by next year. Such a move would have detrimental effects on biomedical research, they say.

In a statement published this week, LERU and EU-LIFE call on European leaders to consider a differentiated approach in plans for reducing the use of animals for research purposes. “The efforts to replace animal use in research should be significant, keep a pace with, and push forward, scientific knowledge and development of technology,” the statement says.


The EU’s new cybersecurity funding agency, the European Cybersecurity Competence Centre in Bucharest, is set to open this week. 

The centre, located on the campus of the Polytechnic University, will manage EU’s cybersecurity funds and oversee the union’s cyber projects run under its research and digital programme, Digital Europe and Horizon Europe. 

It will also be a coordination point for a network of national cybersecurity centres, helping to build up an ecosystem boosting innovation and competitiveness in the sector across the bloc. 

The centre has been a long time in the making, with four Horizon 2020 funded pilot projects testing ideas for joint action to retain and develop the EU cybersecurity capacity since 2016. 


The League of European Research Universities (LERU) welcomes EU member states’ plans to rein in unfair academic publishers but says more should be done to create an open science ecosystem in Europe.  

In a far-ranging position paper, LERU calls more to be done to create an inter-connected public infrastructure for open science and more incentives for researchers that adhere to open science principles. 

EU research ministers are set to adopt a set of council conclusions aimed at revamping pay-wall free  publishing to make it the default mode of scientific publishing and tackle inequalities in the system exacerbated by extortionate fees charged to authors. 


Global research cooperation could be an eighteen United Nations’ sustainable development goal, Katja Becker, president of the German Research Foundation (DFG), suggested at a UN forum this week. 

Becker highlighted the importance of science in tackling climate change and other pressing global challenges, and suggested “ne could even think of a more ambitious idea: defining and establishing an additional Sustainable Development Goal for science.” 

She added: “A new SDG that puts global research cooperation at centre stage – not only but also because searching for the truth is a fundamental part of human nature.”  

But until and unless this becomes reality, Becker noted, “everything else needs to be done that contributes to integrating research and research findings into the SDG agenda.” 


The European open science movement is growing but implementation of its principles is uneven, says a new report by Science Europe, a group of major research funding and performing organisations. 

The report gathers the views from an October conference held by Science Europe and suggests lack of inclusivity and equitability is becoming a growing concern as open science initiatives rapidly spread through Europe.  

EU member states are set to address the growing issue in council conclusions later this month. 



This new high-resolution image gives weather forecasters more information about the clouds cloaking much of Europe, parts of northern Africa and the Atlantic Ocean. 

Europe’s meteorological satellite agency, EUMETSAT, and the European Space Agency (ESA) have released the first images from a new generation of weather satellite that was launched in December.

According to EUMETSAT, the satellite reveals a level of detail about the weather over Europe and Africa not previously possible from 36,000km above the Earth.  

The satellite, its instruments and the ground-based infrastructure required to process images are undergoing testing, calibration and validation until late 2023, when the images will be produced every 10 minutes and released operationally for use in weather forecasts.

More photos, animations and videos are available here.


The League of European Research Universities (LERU) and CE7, a group of seven leading universities in central Europe, call on member states to engage in consultations with research organisations and funders to confirm their commitment to the EU agreement on research assessment.

According to the LERU statement, governments of EU member states and associated countries should also be included in the reform process that is seeking to come up with new standards for the evaluation of researchers and their work.

The full statement is available here.


Maria Leptin, the president of the European Research Council (ERC), has been elected international member of the National Academy of Sciences in the US.

Leptin was elected along with 22 new international members in recognition of their “distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.”

“This is really a great honour,” Leptin said on her Twitter page today.


Subscribe to Live Blog Entries