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H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L




The biggest stories from

The following stories all appeared on our website:




orizon 2020 is supporting a project into new

active compounds against Parkinson’s disease,

in a bid to develop new applications.

SysMedPD (Systems Medicine of Mitochondrial Parkinson’s Disease)

will receive €5.9m under Horizon 2020 and will centre on developing

novel techniques in order to identify and research the specialist

compounds. The investigators will also advance drug candidates

towards medical application.

The research will be co-ordinated by the Luxembourg Centre for Systems

Biomedicine (LCSB) at the University of Luxembourg and sees the

involvement of five universities and three companies from Luxembourg,

Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and the UK.

LCSB director and project co-ordinator Professor Rudi Balling said:

“Universities and biopharmaceutical companies complement each other’s

expertise ideally in SysMedPD. This creates

optimal conditions in which to progress a

good deal further in developing diagnoses

and therapies for Parkinson’s disease.”

Parkinson’s is a gradually progressive

disease of human nerve tissue, resulting in

muscle tremors and muscle rigidity, amongst others; the mitochondria of

nerve cells, the power plants of cells, is often involved in the onset.

Researchers will begin their investigations into patterns of Parkinson’s

where the mitochondria is damaged by mutations in individual genes,

before moving to further analysis of the results with patient groups, and

where several genes and the environment can influence the development

of Parkinson’s.

It’s hoped the added participation of biopharmaceutical companies in the

venture will help ensure the research results obtained are translated into

application as quickly as possible.

10 December 2015




he European Commission has announced a

new Energy Union research strategy at the

COP21 climate conference in Paris.

The ‘Research, Innovation and Competitiveness Strategy of the Energy

Union’ will be launched in 2016 and aims to ensure public support for

innovative low carbon technology, as well as backing for the development

of the right policy environment to stimulate innovation and competition.

The plan will also include an ‘open science – open innovation’ scheme to

help realise decarbonisation by 2050.

Commenting, European Research Commissioner Carlos Moedas said: “Our

view is that investment in energy research and innovation is still far too low.

It is now time for swift and co-ordinated action. To make low and inconsistent

public and private investment in European energy research and innovation

a thing of the past.”

The Commission hopes to build and

deepen the EU’s knowledge on

feasible post-2030 decarbonisation

pathways and their implications,

and create a public discourse

informed by science and broadly

discussed with stakeholders.

Moedas will chair a high level board

steering the initiative, bringing together academics, business leaders and

society representatives. The panel includes Lord Nicholas Stern, chair of the

Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at

the London School of Economics, Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber,

founding director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and

Peter Bakker, president and CEO of the World Business Council for

Sustainable Development. The EU is expected to invest at least 35% of

funding under Horizon 2020 into climate-related activities.

9 December 2015


© European Commission,2015

is the central news hub for the EU’s research and innovation

framework programme. The website is a valuable information resource for researchers

and policy makers with its coverage of major European announcements, scientific

breakthroughs and in-depth reporting of Horizon 2020 objectives.

The last three months have seen a number of financial commitments from the

European Commission, with the 2016 budget and the new Horizon 2020 Work

Programme 2016-2017 both being announced. Research Commissioner Carlos

Moedas has also unveiled a new energy research strategy.

Elsewhere, Tunisia has become the latest country to join Horizon 2020, which comes as

the framework programme continues to fund pioneering projects in pursuit of answers

to the grand Societal Challenges facing us today, including support for new diagnoses

and therapies for Parkinson’s disease and the Human Brain Project.