Horizon Europe and mission-driven science

It’s out! On 7 June, the European Commission made public its full proposal for the shape and scope of the next framework programme, Horizon Europe (aka #HorizonEU on social media). The notion of ‘Missions’ within the second pillar ‘Global Challenges and Industrial Competitiveness’ has also been included – although details are still sparse. Commissioner Moedas did however announce that a ‘Missions Board’ would be set up at the beginning of 2019 which, made up of stakeholders, experts and Member State representatives, would define the areas to be chosen as mission worthy.

Not everyone is happy however. The inclusion of ‘industrial competitiveness’ within the ‘global challenges’ pillar has caused some annoyance vis-à-vis civil society organisations. MEP Christian Ehler, one of the Rapporteurs for Horizon Europe, has in addition claimed that the notion of Missions risks running into political hurdles. Moreover, MEPs and various research and university associations continue to point out that the proposed budget for Horizon Europe is not ambitious enough. The role of the UK in the next framework programme remains open-ended, although it will be considered a ‘third country’ whilst negotiations are ongoing.

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