The European Commission announced how it will spend the last and biggest annual share of €11 billion of the EU research and innovation funding programme Horizon 2020. In this final year the Commission will focus on fewer and crucial topics such as climate change, clean energy, plastics, cybersecurity and the digital economy, supporting further the Commission's political priorities. The budget plan will also be geared towards preparing the way for Horizon Europe, the next framework programme (2021-2027) for research and innovation that will feature an important novelty, the European Innovation Council. The latter is a one-stop-shop for innovation funding aimed to turn science into new business and accelerate the scale-up of companies. It is already running in its pilot phase and will benefit from a budget of €1.2 billion in 2020 (for more information see also this factsheet).
Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: "Horizon 2020 is generating new knowledge and technologies, and has a strong economic impact. For every 100 euro we invest through Horizon 2020, we expect to add 850 euro to our GDP by 2030, creating millions of jobs for Europeans. That is why we have proposed €100 billion for the next Horizon Europe programme, to boost the EU's competitiveness, innovation capacities and scientific excellence."Horizon 2020, the EU's €77 billion research and innovation funding programme for 2014-2020, supports scientific excellence in Europe and has contributed to high-profile scientific breakthroughs such as the discovery of exoplanets, first images of a black hole and development of advanced vaccines for diseases such as Ebola.