Innovation and research careers on the table as Commission plans the future of Widening

28 Sep 2023 | News

A debate on how the EU’s Widening measures, which aim to close the east/west innovation divide, should be reformulated in the next framework research programme is heating up, with the Commission already hinting at possible changes

From left to right, Manuel Aleixo, head of unit, ERA and Innovation, DG RTD, European Commission; Ladislav Krištoufek, vice rector for research, Charles University; Václav Velčovský, director general, EU Operational Programmes section, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Czech Republic; Florin Zubașcu, executive editor, Science|Business

Improving research careers and access to innovation funding are two key areas the European Commission will focus on in future efforts to bridge the EU’s east/west research performance gap and improve on the Widening measures that were set up under the €95.5 billion Horizon Europe programme.

These are among a number of issues to reflect on in shaping Widening measures for Horizon Europe’s successor programme, says Manuel Aleixo, head of the European Research Area and Innovation unit at the Commission’s research directorate. 

The participation rate of companies from Widening countries in the European Innovation Council’s start-up and SME funding support programme, the EIC Accelerator, will be one area under scrutiny. The Commission is now looking into a pilot…

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