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Shortfalls in EU research investment reveal wasted potential

The gap between the EU’s R&I funding and its ambition is in the spotlight again

The clamour from the sector for the EU to increase its funding for research and innovation has grown steadily louder over recent months, as the bloc’s next multi-year budget looms ever closer. This week, a powerful voice was added to the fray in the form of research commissioner Iliana Ivanova, who told Research Europe that to “support all the great talents and ideas we have in Europe, we need a budget for the [R&I] programme commensurate to the needs”.

How long Ivanova will remain in her role is currently unclear: a new set of commissioner appointments is imminent following the European Parliament election. But one line of continuity with the current European Commission has edged closer, with leaders of EU member states nominating president Ursula von der Leyen to return for a second term. While she still needs to win the backing of MEPs, this should start to give the sector confidence that—whatever happens over the coming weeks—the momentum it has been building to draw attention to funding shortfalls will not be lost.

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