EU research ministers met in Brussels this week to discuss the European Union’s new programme for research and innovation Horizon 2020, which will start in 2014 with a proposed budget of €80bn. The ministers reached an agreement on part of the funding package for research and innovation.
The agreement reached by the ministers covers the details of the priority areas for EU funding in the next period and the operational and management procedures for the programme.
The two agreements relate to the specific programme for the implementation of Horizon 2020 and the content of the innovation agenda of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology for the next few years.
Broken down, the ministers also agreed on measures to help member states and regions with less developed research systems to participate in high-quality research projects.
Ministers also discussed ways to increase co-operation on research and innovation with countries such as China, India and Brazil, with the aim of addressing global issues, such as climate change, health problems and energy requirements.
On the space side of things, ministers exchanged ideas on how to further develop the relationship between the EU and the European Space Agency.
Ireland’s Minister for Research and Innovation Sean Sherlock, TD, was at the Competitiveness Council meeting this week.
He spoke about how the current Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) for research and development has so far resulted in awards of €438m to Irish participants.
"We are on track to achieve our target of €600m from FP7," he said.
During Ireland’s presidency of the EU for the first half of 2013, Sherlock will chair the discussions of the 27 EU member states on the new Horizon 2020 programme, which has a proposed budget of €80bn.
The final amount that will be allocated for Horizon 2020 will depend on an overall agreement being achieved by the European Council on the EU budget for 2014 to 2020.