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‘Time is now’ to shape successor to Horizon Europe

Earma 2023: “Framework 10 has already started,” research managers are told

Researchers and university staff need to lobby now to shape the next multibillion-euro EU research and innovation programme, an expert has warned.

The European Commission recently consulted on a midterm review of the €95.5bn 2021-27 R&I programme, Horizon Europe. But the 2023 annual conference of the European Association of Research Managers and Administrators was told that it was already time to lobby to shape the programme that is due to start in 2028, currently known as Framework Programme 10.

“When is Framework 10 starting? It has started,” said Sean McCarthy, managing director of research-strategy consultancy Hyperion.

He pointed out to attendees in Prague on 25 April that there had been more than 2,700 submissions to the midterm review of Horizon Europe and 265 position papers. Many of these offered suggestions for FP10, as well as improvements for the second half of Horizon Europe.

Decisions for FP10 will include not only its overall budget, but also the share for individual parts of the programme, setting, for example, the bottom-up research grants of Horizon Europe’s Pillar I, such as the European Research Council, against the top-down ‘missions’ and other funding in Pillar II.

McCarthy said budget decisions in the next two years would have more impact than any taken later on. “We’re entering peak lobbying time,” he added.

Universities should encourage senior staff to join expert groups and panels to influence the direction of travel, McCarthy suggested. Researchers and research managers could have a real influence over which funding topics are picked, especially in the detailed planning of top-down calls in Pillar II, noted his co-presenter, Sylvia McCarthy, also of Hyperion.

She stressed the “key principles” of transparency, credibility and trust. “There are no good or bad lobbying areas,” she said. “There are only good or bad lobbying practices.”

Research Professional News is media partner for the Earma 2023 conference in Prague. Read all of the coverage here.