Horizon 2020 investment programme considered at Holyrood

21/05/2012

Scotland’s business and academic research communities will gather at Holyrood on Friday (25 May) to discuss how Scotland can best engage with the EU’s Horizon 2020 proposals.  Horizon 2020 aims to strengthen the EU’s position in science and its industrial leadership in innovation through investment in key technologies, greater access to capital and support for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs).

The event has been organised by the European and External Relations Committee, currently undertaking an inquiry into Horizon 2020. It aims to raise awareness of the opportunities it offers Scotland and to provide a networking opportunity to encourage a more collaborative approach to working on projects and getting ideas to market.

Speaking ahead of the event, Committee Convener Christina McKelvie MSP said:

“Horizon 2020 brings together all EU research and innovation funding within a single programme and has a proposed budget of some €80bn for the period 2014-2020. Our Committee wants to work with the Scottish Government, businesses and the academic community to make sure they can make the most of Horizon 2020 funding opportunities.

“Our conference will offer a networking opportunity for good practice sharing. Stakeholders have told us how important this is. There will be sessions about how to get new products to market, and importantly how to make the most of the funding opportunities avaialble. Horizon 2020 aims to turn scientific breakthroughs into innovative products and services that provide business opportunities.”

Speaking at the Conference are:

  • Marion Dewar, Member of Commissioner Maire Geoghegan-Quinn’s Cabinet, the Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, where she is responsible for the Innovation Union Flagship Initiative and the European Research Area. 
  • John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth.
  • David Willetts MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science.

The sessions will cover:

  1. Bridging the gap between research and business: getting ideas to market.
  2. Funding Innovation: investigating new opportunities.
  3. Beyond the ‘usual suspects’: getting fresh talent into the system.
  4. Role of Government: cutting red tape and securing value for money.
  5. How to win the competition for funds.

Background

Horizon 2020 inquiry: The European & External Relations Committee has sought views from organisations and individuals affected by the European Commission’s proposals for a successor to the 7th Framework Programme for Research & Technical Development (FP7), termed Horizon 2020.

The Commission published its proposals for Horizon 2020 on 30 November 2011. Horizon 2020 is a financial instrument with a proposed budget of €80bn.   It is structured round three main pillars aimed at:

  • Strengthening the EU’s position in science (“Excellent Science” - with a proposed budget of €25bn).
  • Strengthening industrial leadership in innovation through investment in key technologies, greater access to capital and support for SMEs (“Industrial Leadership” - €18bn).
  • Addressing major concerns such as climate change, developing sustainable transport and mobility, making renewable energy more affordable, ensuring food safety and security, and coping with the challenge of an ageing population ( “Societal Challenges” - €32bn).