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Geoghegan-Quinn presents Horizon 2020’s skeleton

The EU’s research funding programme 2014-2020 will include three components for basic research, industrial technology, and the ‘grand challenges’, the research commissioner has announced.

Speaking at a facility of US chip maker Intel in Leixlip, Ireland, on 13 October, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn presented the broad structure of the Horizon 2020 programme.

The first block, called “Excellence in the science base”, will fund basic research. This includes a “significant strengthening of the spectacularly successful European Research Council,” Geoghegan-Quinn said.

The second block, named “Creating industrial leadership and competitive frameworks” will fund business research and innovation, in particular for small enterprises.

Geoghegan-Quinn said that the programme would focus on funding the development of so-called Key Enabling Technologies, such as nanoelectronics.

Finally, Horizon 2020’s third block, called “Tackling societal challenges”, will fund research that responds to grand challenges such as food security and climate change.

The programme will increase funding for innovation through funding schemes for “prototyping, dissemination, demonstration, pilots, testing, user involvement, market replication, and public procurement”.

The Commissioner added that Horizon 2020 would use a single, standardised set of rules across all funding instruments to simplify procedures.

In addition, Horizon 2020 will expand the Open Access Pilot that promotes the free dissemination of EU-funded scientific publications, which now covers about 20 per cent of the Framework 7 budget.