Deal struck to increase Horizon 2020 budget
After lengthy negotiations an agreement has been reached to increase the funding available to Horizon 2020 by 28 percent to €70.2 billion. Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union programme, which aims to make Europe more innovative and therefore more competitive. The deal is being hailed as a success for the Irish presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Horizon 2020 is used to fund R&D activities in three different areas: excellent science, industrial leadership, and societal challenges. The first pillar, which includes funding for the European Research Council, will receive 37 percent of the total. The industrial leadership pillar, which aims to increase jobs and stimulate private investment in research and innovation, will receive 22.5 percent.
38 percent of the budget will go to the societal challenges pillar, providing research into how Europeans can lead longer and healthier lives; utilise reliable, clean, and efficient energy; maintain a safe and secure food supply; and develop smarter, greener transport. The current funding model will be simplified, reducing bureaucracy and widening the list of potential applicants. Under the revised model the Commission will pay all direct costs and make a contribution of 25 percent to indirect costs or overheads.
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