Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 26

Although the EFSI will have a focus on research
and innovation, it is unlikely to pick up some of
the basic research that will be lost as a result
of the budget cuts. The EFSI will hopefully
leverage economic growth and employment as
planned, but Science Europe would maintain
that cutting the research budget will not help
this to happen.
Horizon 2020 was launched in 2014 with a
€78.6bn budget that had been hard-fought for
by the entire European research community. It
is an ambitious programme which covers a
wide range of complementary objectives; the
meeting of these aims will not be helped by the
cutting of the budget. Evidence that Horizon
2020 funding is relevant and necessary can be
found in the high subscription rates seen in
many areas in the early calls for proposals.
The midterm review of Horizon 2020 will be
important in assessing the extent to which the
research and innovation framework programme
is delivering against its promises. Such issues
A
strong European science base is crucial for the future of
Europe. One of the major challenges facing European science
is the threat of cuts to, or stagnation of, research budgets at
national and European levels. Science Europe, the association of 50
major research funding and research performing organisations across
Europe, has spoken out about the long term implications of reducing
investment in research, including basic research. Science is a
cornerstone of European culture and civilisation, and it is an area in which
Europe excels; it is also, crucially, the source of the knowledge on which
societal development and economic growth are built.
A society wishing to secure its prosperity needs to innovate, and
innovation requires a continuous flow of fundamental knowledge.
Unfortunately, this intrinsic link between research and innovation is
sometimes compromised.
EFSI impact
At European level, the new €21bn European Fund for Strategic
Investments (EFSI), part of European Commission President Jean-Claude
Juncker’s Investment Plan for Europe, is a case in point. Whilst strategic
investment in innovation is essential, funding this in part through a
reduction in the research budget is counterintuitive. The cuts to Horizon
2020 will mean that less research is funded; this means fewer results
on which to base the innovation of the future.
Meeting the challenge
Professor Miguel Seabra,
President of Science Europe, provides an insight into
Europe’s R&I climate of survival and how Portugal is weathering the storm
I S S U E S I X
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
26
E X C E L L E N T S C I E N C E
Professor Miguel Seabra
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