Europe’s Parliament has voted in the €80bn Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme – the biggest EU research programme yet.
Horizon 2020 is only one of very few programmes in the net EU budget to see a strong increase in funding – up 30pc in real terms over the current Seventh Framework Programme.
The final hurdle is final approval from EU member states, which is set for 11 December. It is understood that Ireland is vying for about €1bn worth of funding from Horizon 2020.
“This is a vote of confidence in the power of EU research and innovation funding. It paves the way for more investment in knowledge and competitiveness in Europe,” said EU Commissioner in charge of Research and Innovation Máire Geoghegan-Quinn.
“The European Parliament’s support for and input to Horizon 2020 has been very important,” said Geoghegan-Quinn.
Horizon 2020 will run from 2014 to 2020 and will include a number of new steps, such as a dedicated SME Instrument and a ‘Fast Track to Innovation’ pilot scheme to shorten the time from idea to market.
Another output involves ‘Science for and with Society’, which aims to engage more with European society, boost the attractiveness of science careers, and address gender imbalance in the science profession.