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EU research missions must be able to change course as their questions evolve, says Stefan Kuhlmann.

Policymakers are increasingly drawn to the idea of transformative innovation policy. This takes the form of setting overarching strategic initiatives that include and enable deep changes to social, technological and economic systems. Part of this includes the turn in research agendas towards tackling grand societal challenges and meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Recently, this transformative turn has led to an interest in a mission-based approach to research policy at both national and EU levels. With Horizon Europe’s missions, the EU stands poised to make big, long-term, top-down commitments in science and technology, as part of a transformative approach to innovation.

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