EuChemS has responded to the European Commission’s open consultation on the revised version of Orientations towards the first Strategic Plan for Horizon Europe.
The consultation is part of the Commission’s aim to encourage greater engagement of stakeholder organisations, scientists and citizens with the EU’s future budget for research and innovation (Horizon Europe). This current stage of the co-design strategy attempts to identify areas – or ‘orientations’ that stakeholders consider the most relevant to Horizon Europe or that can best benefit from EU research funding. A recent document, the ”Orientations towards the first Strategic Plan for Horizon Europe” looked at facilitating the implementation of Horizon Europe by setting out key strategic orientations. Six priorities put forward by the incoming Commission, including a European Green Deal, are to in turn be used to give direction to Horizon Europe planning.
EuChemS has responded to the Commission’s consultation by stressing the need to grant Horizon Europe flexibility, design it to foster international collaboration and be open to curiosity-driven, fundamental research. EuChemS moreover highlighted the importance of aligning the priorities with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Allowing for broad third country participation within Horizon Europe is vital to tackle the challenges we face, whether linked to climate, energy, health, water or food safety and quality. International collaboration in turn instigates important reciprocal benefits to the EU, member states, and to individual researchers.
EuChemS has highlighted the need to also support and encourage basic discovery research – which may not always fit so well within politically-defined objectives. Ensuring scientists can carry out their research within a curiosity-driven framework is vital to supporting a healthy and diverse ecosystem of research and science.