The European Commission, in its evolution to an impact-driven framework programme, launched on Wednesday, 29 September 2021, the €1.9 billion plan for the first two-year phase of five Missions, a new-style approach to Research and Innovation in Horizon Europe (HE).
Article courtesy of EAIC Member, benkei
To amortise the pandemic aftermath in 2020, the European Union provided a stimulus package worth EUR 2 trillion. The package consists of the EU’s long-term budget for 2021 - 2027 of EUR 1.2 trillion, enhanced by NextGenerationEU at a value of EUR 807 billion. This budget is split into two types of fundings: grants and loans, some EUR 338 billion will be provided in the form of grants, while EUR 386 billion will be used to provide loans from the EU to individual Member States with favourable conditions.
NextGenerationEU is a European instrument specifically designed to help repair the immediate economic and social damage caused by the coronavirus. Its long-term goal is to make the EU greener, more digital, more resilient and better prepared for the forthcoming challenges. The cornerstone of Next Generation EU is the Recovery and Resilience Facility – an instrument that provides grants and loans to support necessary reforms and investments within EU Member States. The funds from the instrument will be distributed according to national recovery and resilience plans set up by individual member states, in cooperation with the European Commission and in line with an agreed allocation key. The European Association of Innovation Consultants (EAIC) has released its first collective report “A Guide to Next Generation EU for industry to better understand and seize its opportunities.” The guide currently covers 21 countries, however, EAIC intends to regularly update this guide and incorporate new sections to facilitate the identification of opportunities for industry. The purpose of the guide is to help EU industry, present in multiple EU countries, identify the priorities to facilitate the recovery of each member state. Although national plans are usually available in each local language, the guide summarises the plans in English and allows for more transparency.
One of the traditional programmes, funded under the multiannual financial framework for the next 7 years, is Horizon Europe 2021-2027. It is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation with a budget of over EUR 95 billion. Its main goal is to tackle climate change and accomplish the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, while boosting the EU’s competitiveness and growth. The main research and innovation missions are Adaptation to climate change mission;, Cancer mission, Climate-neutral and Smart Cities mission, Soil deal for Europe mission and Restore our oceans and waters mission. Horizon Europe views digital transformation and green transition as priority objectives, which can be identified as the most important cross-cutting priority areas, along with NextGenerationEU. While Horizon Europe (2021-2027) is is framed within the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), NextGenerationEU (2021-2023) is a temporary recovery instrument put in place to boost, through investment and reform financing, the recovery of Member States' economies in the wake of the pandemic.
NextGenerationEU has a temporary investment role and it covers a wider field of priorities such as the green transition, digital transformation, smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth, social and territorial cohesion, health and economic, social and institutional resilience and policies for the next generation, children and the youth, such as education. Its focus is placed on seven key features: Power up, Renovate, Recharge and Refuel, Connect, Modernise, Scale-up, Reskill and upskill.
Furthermore, NextGenerationEU will strengthen several existing EU programmes and policies:
To avoid immediate pressure on member states’ national finances, the EU will borrow from the markets to finance NextGenerationEU, with the repayment period taking place until 2058. Approximately 50% of NextGenerationEU’s budget will be spent on research and innovation via Horizon Europe, the Just Transition Fund, the Digital Europe programme, the Recovery and Resilience Facility, RescEU, and EU4Health.
Below, a detailed breakdown of the NextGenerationEU 2021-2023 and the regular Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 is shown:
Around 30% of the long-term budget and NextGenerationEU will be spent on fighting climate change. These funds are part of a major investment plan that the EU will put in place for a sustainable green economy. It will combine EU and national public funds, but also public and private investments to support the EU on its path to climate neutrality by 2050.
The remaining 20% of the Recovery and Resilience Facility funds will be invested in the digitalisation of the EU. These funds support investments in supercomputing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, advanced digital skills and the wider use of digital technologies across the socioeconomic spectrum.
Horizon Europe (HE) has a budget of EUR 95.5 billion from 2021 to 2027. This amount includes EUR 5.4 billion from the NextGenerationEU instrument. HE’s budget is divided among four pillars and 15 components, creating a programme that will support all the areas of Research and Innovation: excellent science (ERC, MSCA…); global challenges & industrial competitiveness (health, creative, digital, space,…); innovative Europe (EIC, EIT,…) and widening participation & strengthening the European Research Area.
In conclusion, the two funding programmes are closely interlinked. First, they have similar objectives and challenges that are urgent in the wake of the SARS-CoV-2 virus situation. Second, they are financially related, since NextGenerationEU’s extraordinary funds will reinforce the regular Horizon Europe funds for the period 2021-2023.
Women make up about half of the population and voters in the EU, but they are still under-represented in high-level positions, whether in elections, public administration, corporate boards or academia. The European Commission has committed itself to promote gender equality in research and innovation (R&I). Horizon 2020 was the first framework programme to make gender a cross-cutting issue, and one of the key objectives was to integrate the gender dimension into R&I content. With Horizon Europe, the Commission has promised to reaffirm its commitment to gender equality in R&I.
Horizon Europe sets gender equality as a crosscutting principle and aims to eliminate gender inequality and intersecting socio-economic inequalities throughout R&I systems, including by addressing unconscious bias and systemic structural barriers. By considering sex and gender dimension in the whole research & innovation process we can prevent for example gender or racially biased AI products due to a lack of diversity in the AI training data.
Anne Pépin, Senior Policy Officer from European Commission presented the key aspects and novelties regarding gender equality in Horizon Europe in a webinar on 21 April 2021. There are three levels with three different aspects that should be taken into account when preparing a proposal for Horizon Europe.
When sex, gender and intersecting factors are all considered in the design and delivery of R&I, it can leads to added value of research in terms of excellence, societal relevance, creativity and business opportunities. It creates in-depth understanding of all people’s needs, behaviours, and attitudes, and with this understanding it is easier to make goods and services that are better suited to the needs of all people.
“In business, politics and society as a whole, we can only reach our full potential if we use all of our talent and diversity. Gender equality brings more jobs and higher productivity – a potential which needs to be realised as we embrace the green and digital transitions and face up to our demographic challenges.” – EU Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025
Article courtesy of EAIC member, Spinverse.
Horizon Europe, the long-awaited successor to Horizon 2020, and the world’s largest transnational research and innovation programme, is finally ready to take off!
The programme is designed to support European competitiveness by creating new growth and jobs based on scientific knowledge and technological development, all the while tackling societal challenges and helping to sustain European socio-economic models and values.
So, how does it work concretely?
The programme has been built on three main Pillars, each of them having a different objective:
Beyond accumulating new knowledge, developing new technologies or increasing European competitiveness, Horizon Europe aims to achieve tangible benefits for European citizens related to the main challenges addressed by the programme (Digital transition, Ecological transition (Green Deal), Health resilience, Economic resilience and recovery).
Horizon Europe is evolving into an impact-driven framework programme, based on a new holistic monitoring approach.
This new Horizon Europe programme will be monitored as a virtuous circle to design (Intervention logic at the level of clusters, destinations, missions), implement (at the level of strategic Plan, Work Programme Proposal template, Project reporting) and assess the programme’s impacts (through Monitoring Key Impact Pathways, Management & Implementation Data, Interim and ex-post evaluation).
For maximising impact at the level of the programme, new features have been introduced, among them, enlarged international cooperation, an in-depth open science policy, missions orientation and citizens’ involvement, to name a few.
The Horizon Europe Legislation has defined 3 types of impacts, tracked with key Impact Pathways (KIP).
The impact logic of the programme is framed by Key Impact Pathways (KIP) detailed in the figure below and defined by Horizon Europe legislation.
The Research and Innovation days will open tomorrow, marking the long-awaited launch of the first Horizon Europe 2021 calls. Thousands of companies, research centres and SMEs with existing experience in collaborative European Research and Innovation (R&I) projects, as well as other applicants, new to this programme, are in the starting blocks. European Innovation Consultants as well.
This week will see the opening of the first calls under Pillar II of the Horizon Europe Programme. Horizon Europe’s total budget for the next 7 years amounts to the record amount of €95.5 bn, of which half will address global challenges and European industrial competitiveness. Over 700 topics (collaborative projects to be funded by the European Commission) will be published in the next 2 years, funding thousands of projects involving various partners (industrial partners, research centres, SMEs, or non--profit organisations, etc.) for several years. Each project will require excellent coordination and management skills to ensure public funds provided by the Commission are spent efficiently to develop novel solutions. From a maturity point of view, projects will span from basic research to applied innovation, ready to be commercialised when the project is finalised. Ambitious exploitation strategies (i.e. what will happen with the research and innovation beyond the project lifetime) will have to be included in funding applications to convince evaluators.
In 2019, Innovation Consultants across Europe decided to strengthen their collaboration through EAIC, the European Association of Innovation Consultants. The purpose of the association is to allow for better recognition of their work and contribution to the support of many actors, such as industry and research organisations, who are willing to be part of EU projects to develop breakthrough innovations but have limited expertise and/or time to access these funding instruments. Consultants advise them on how to develop their innovation process as well as on how to access public funding needed to bring their innovation to market.
With the new Horizon Europe collaborative calls now opening, Innovation Consultants are ready to support projects based on their previous experience and track records with the previous framework programme. EAIC now includes more than 40 members across the EU with a vast experience in R&I programmes but also in alternative funding opportunities for the private and public sectors in Europe.
Under Horizon 2020, the predecessor of Horizon Europe for (2014-2020), the average success rate of 11% has decreased in the last years of the programme as budgets ran out and consortia competed for the remainder of the funding. Many companies and research centres have used the support of innovation consultants, to increase their chances of success , to drive the proposal writing process under time pressure, to find the right partner and support them in the professional management of projects when approved.
The members of EAIC have decided to sign a code of conduct which is a prerequisite to be part of the association, which ensures that they respect deontological principles, such as impartiality, e.g. they cannot write proposals and be part of the evaluation committee at the same time.
On 21st June, EAIC elected a new board of members composed of 12 company representatives; you can find the composition of the new board here: https://www.eaic.eu/about-eaic.html
Consult the full list of EAIC members here: https://www.eaic.eu/members.html
View the Horizon Europe calls that have already been announced through the official Work Programmes of the EC here.
The European Association of Innovation Consultants (EAIC) gathers active Innovation Consultants in the field of European research and innovation projects. The group aims to facilitate the exchange and promotion of best practices and success stories, as well as to uphold professional skills and expertise in European RDI projects. Today, the group gathers 46 members, active in more than 24 countries around Europe.
The Horizon 2020 oversubscription issue and the low overall success rate is having an important impact in terms of costs for the brave players that accept the challenge of preparing a collaborative proposal. Unfortunately, Horizon Europe is not proposing adequate solutions to this issue.
The European Association of Innovation Consultants (EAIC) is preparing an assessment about the impact of the low success rates of H2020 for potential beneficiaries. In order to have an estimation of the impact of the oversubscription issue in terms of time - effort, the EAIC invites you to answer the survey in the link below.
It will only take a few minutes and your feedback will be very valuable for our study.
The European Union’s (EU) Green Deal is the EU’s main new growth strategy to transition the EU economy toward a sustainable economic model. The proposed financing of the EU Green Deal is set out in the EU Green Deal Investment Plan.
Several funding mechanisms were created to facilitate the EU Green Deal, totalling over €1 trillion. Over 50% of the budget, €528 billion, will come directly from the EU budget and the EU Emissions Trading System.
The rest will be sourced through the InvestEU programme, which combines €279 billion from public and private sectors to 2030 and €114 billion from national co-financing. It will provide an EU budget guarantee to allow the EIB Group and others to invest in higher-risk projects, enabling private investment.
During the Horizon Europe Virtual Summit, 31 May - 4 June, EAIC Members, Louis Papaemmanuel (My EU Consulting), Silver Toomla (Invent Baltics), Nadège Grabowski, Xavier Aubry (Zaz Ventures) and Lucie Guilloteau (Euronovia) shared their expertise through speeches on creating winning EIC Accelerator, Pathfinder and Transition applications, as well as tips and best practices for MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships.
More about the event
The Horizon Europe Virtual Summit is an online event featuring world-class experts in European Research & Innovation. The free event aims to increase the success rate of the Horizon Europe proposals and is organised over 5 days, with 30+ Masterclasses, Interviews and Training Sessions from top Horizon Europe experts.
Read more about the event here.
The European Innovation Council (EIC) is a key novelty of Horizon Europe and is a European innovation initiative with a budget of approximately €10 billion for the period 2021-2027.
The EIC is the result of lessons and achievements from its pilot phase during the period 2018-2021. It combines research on emerging technologies with an accelerator programme and a dedicated equity fund, the European Innovation Council Fund, to scale up innovative start-ups and small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). Around €3 billion of the EIC’s budget will go towards the EIC Fund.
In the infographic below, prepared by EAIC member, Lira, we detail the EIC's funding opportunities (Accelerator, Transition and Pathfinder), taking into account the different deadlines and challenge topics.
EAIC becomes a partner of the Science|Business conference "R&I in recovery: What can Horizon Europe deliver?"
We are pleased to announce that the European Association of Innovation Consultants (EAIC) is a partner of the Science|Business public annual conference “R&I in recovery: what can Horizon Europe deliver?” to be held on February 22-23, 2021.
“It is our pleasure to support Science|Business in bringing industry together with policy-makers and the research community," said Pekka Koponen, President of the EAIC, "More innovation is needed for European recovery, and members of the European Association of Innovation Consultants are happy to join to increase industrial innovation, applied research, international co-operation and professional project management.”
This virtual conference will address some of the following questions, among many others:
During this event, Margrethe Vestager (Executive Vice President of the EC), Mariya Gabriel (Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Youth, Education and Culture) and Martin Kern (EIT Director) will deliver speeches, along with many other key R&I figures.
Other partners of the event include the EIT, Sanofi, the ATTRACT project, the TRESCA project and the EIB.
The Science|Business Network is one of universities, companies, and research and policy organisations, and acts as a forum for driving innovation forward. Reaching Europe's most influential innovators and policymakers, Science|Business' expertise and knowledge of European policy making contributes to making a difference.
Read more about the conference here.
Read more about Science|Business here.
For this third edition of the European Research and Innovation Days, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation has announced that the event will be held virtually on 23 and 24 June 2021.
As seen throughout the past year, cooperation in research and innovation is essential for Europe’s recovery; the annual flagship event, which coincides with Horizon Europe’s launch, will have a special focus on new initiatives to strengthen the European Research Area.
With the aim to foster collaboration and encourage the debate among policymakers, researchers, entrepreneurs and the general public, the European R&I Days also intend to pave the way to a greener and more digital future.
Last year’s edition gathered over 35 000 registered participants from 188 countries.
We expect this year's edition to be instrumental in facing the challenges of tomorrow.
Read more here.
Author: Marie Latour, Head of Office, Zabala Brussels
This week, the EU research ministers have agreed on the final details of Horizon Europe:
To begin with, they agree on a linear cut across its programmes to reflect the outcome of the July budget summit (from €94.4 billion to €80.9 billion in 2018 prices) this represents a decrease of more than 14% from the European Commission's (EC) original proposal. In current prices, this is equivalent to a budget of €90.9 billion, of which €5.4 billion comes from the Next Generation EU budget, as part of the recovery plan.
The European Commission (EC) is launching a survey on Horizon Europe’s first Strategic Plan, which will guide the work programmes and topics for the next four years. All stakeholders with an interest in EU research and innovation are invited to participate in this consultation, which will end on 18 September 2020.
In view of Horizon Europe's launch in 2021, this Strategic Plan is being developed through a co-design process, for which over 9000 people have contributed, making it the largest consultation ever led by the EC.
The survey’s results will be discussed in the virtual European Research and Innovation Days on 22-24 September 2020, and we look forward to hearing your feedback there.
Find out more here.
The Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027 is undergoing intense negotiations within the European Institutions. Horizon Europe’s budget has been decreased by 5 billion euros, straying away from the European Commission’s initial ambitious plan. The European Council and Parliament (EP) have just a few months left to complete their negotiations.
EWGIC, the European Working Group of Innovation Consultants, welcomes the European Council’s agreement on the MFF and the Next Generation EU budgets, but regrets the treatment of European research and innovation funding especially related to Horizon Europe.
EWGIC supports Parliament’s stance that the Council’s budget deal needs to be transformed to a more future-oriented approach. We are now calling the European Parliament to ensure Horizon Europe will get back at least to the original proposal that the EC made in 2018 of 83.5 B€ (2018 prices). So that R&I can actually contribute to our continent's recovery and allow for the development of added-value products and solutions developed in Europe.
European Consultants in Innovation ask for greater recognition of Professional project management in Horizon Europe. In 35% of cases, organizations have relied on consulting companies to prepare their proposals for the current R&I funding programme - Horizon 2020.
As the R&I Days kicked-off in Brussels on 24 September, fifteen consultants in Innovation Management from six European countries gathered together to foster a discussion about common interests with a possibility of future collaborations and actions.
The representatives of Innovation Management Consulting Firms addressed the issues concerning the management of European research and innovation projects. The discussion among European consultants also covered the preparations for Horizon Europe, the upcoming Framework Programme.
Currently and as it was revealed during the Research and Innovation Days held last week by the European Commission in Brussels, organizations have relied, in 35% of cases on consulting services to prepare their proposals for Horizon2020, the largest funding and research program in the EU.