HORIZON BLOG: European R&D policy newsbytes

26 May 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.


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.


The EU must ensure fair governance and public investment in virtual and augmented reality, the European University Association (EUA) told the European Commission in its latest consultation on virtual worlds. 

As the Commission moves towards developing policy for virtual and augmented reality, universities note they are increasing becoming important users, and creators, of such technologies. But their wider roll-out in research and education will require public investment, beyond pilot projects and private funding. 

At the same time, the successful roll-out of virtual and augmented reality technologies rests on creating standards that allow access, interoperability and privacy. To ensure this, the EU must create a diverse governance structure that represents the whole higher education and research ecosystem, universities say. 


Swiss state secretary Martina Hirayama and UK science minister George Freeman met in London today at the first meeting of the joint Swiss-British committee for science and innovation.

Back in November, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in research and innovation. The agreement set the stage for strengthening UK-Swiss bilateral cooperation in research, as the two countries continue to be locked out of Horizon Europe, the EU’s €95.5 billion research and innovation programme.


The European affairs committee in the House of Lords published a report last week calling for a reset on UK-EU relations, including an end to uncertainty over association to EU’s Horizon Europe programme.

The report says UK’s association to Horizon Europe and other EU research funding schemes would benefit both the UK and the EU. However, the UK government has not taken swift steps to conclude negotiations, despite clearing out broader political hurdles.

“Now that agreement has been reached on the Windsor Framework, the necessary steps to complete UK association should be concluded as soon as possible,” the report notes.


The European Commission has published today a new staff working document on its Cohesion programme for 2021-2027 where it estimates the €378 billion fund will help bridge the innovation divide in Europe.

According to the document, thanks to €73 billion in dedicated cohesion funding, 83,000 researchers will have access to improved facilities and 725,000 companies will be supported in their smart growth.

Of this allocation, €35 billion will be spent on developing and enhancing research and innovation capacities and the uptake of advanced technologies.

The Commission’s full plan for cohesion funding over the coming years is available here.


The European Commission’s directorate for research and innovation is organising an official information event in Brussels on financial and business opportunities that can support the market uptake of new technologies, beyond its flagship research programme Horizon Europe.

More details about the event here.


Innovative Health Initiative (IHI) is looking to establish a group of patients and informal caregivers who can support their activities in health research and innovation through lending their perspectives, experience and expertise. 

The IHI Patient Pool could be called upon to participate in project meetings, scientific events, webinars or training sessions. Additionally, IHI could seek expertise from this group when it comes to carrying out evaluations of proposals, reviews of projects or discussions on funding possibilities. 

The idea is to use the knowledge and know-how of patients and caregivers to support IHI activities. 

‘I strongly encourage patients and caregivers to get involved in this initiative, so that with their help, we can achieve our ambitious goal of translating health research and innovation into tangible benefits for patients,” said Hugh Laverty, executive director ad interim of IHI. 

Those who wish to apply to be a part of the IHI Patient Pool have until 8 June to apply. Find out more here.


The European Commission is looking for experts to participate in evaluating various calls for proposals. 

This includes 2023 calls under the EU Mission ‘A Soil Deal for Europe’ and 2024 calls under cluster 6 of the Horizon Europe work programme, ‘Food, bioeconomy, natural resources, agriculture and environment’. 

Find out more about becoming an expert at this link.


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