THE SME INSTRUMENT REMAINS INTACT AND IS MADE EVEN EASIER TO UNDERSTAND AND APPLY FOR
The Commission’s proposal for Horizon Europe is an ambitious €100 billion research and innovation programme to succeed Horizon 2020. This programme includes the SME instrument. The European Parliament and the Council of the EU reached in March and April 2019 a provisional agreement on Horizon Europe. The European Parliament endorsed the provisional agreement on 17 April 2019.
The strategic planning process will focus in particular on the Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness pillar of Horizon Europe. It will also cover the Widening Participation and Strengthening the European Research Area part of the programme as well as relevant activities in other pillars.
Preliminary Structure of Horizon Europe
WHAT IS NEW IN THE COMMISSION PROPOSALS?
Horizon Europe, with a budget of €97.6 billion, is the biggest ever research and innovation funding programme. It is designed around three pillars:
- The Open Science Pillar supports researchers through fellowships and exchanges as well as funding to projects defined and driven by researchers themselves, through the European Research Council and the Marie-Skłodowska-Curie actions.
- The Global challenges pillar directly supports research relating to societal challenges, setting EU-wide missions with ambitious goals around issues that worry us daily such as the fight against cancer, clean mobility and plastic-free oceans. Industrial leadership will be prominent within this pillar and throughout the programme as a whole.
- The Open Innovation pillar aims to make Europe a front runner in market-creating innovation. A European Innovation Council will offer a one-stop shop for high potential and breakthrough technologies and innovative companies with potential for scaling up.
Horizon Europe will have simpler rules, cutting red tape for beneficiaries Including the SME instruments.
HOW ELSE WILL THE FUTURE EU BUDGET MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THIS AREA?
- InvestEU provides an EU guarantee to mobilise public and private financing in the form of loans, guarantees, equity or other market-based instruments, to strategic investments in the support of Research and Development through a dedicated investment window. With a contribution from the EU budget of €15.2 billion, InvestEU will mobilise more than €650 billion of additional investment across Europe.
- EU Cohesion Policy plays an important part of the EU funds for Research & Innovation through an increased focus on innovation and Smart Specialisation strategies. The “Seal of Excellence” allows projects successfully evaluated under Horizon Europe to be funded at regional level under the European Structural and Investment Funds.
- The new European Defence Fund, with an overal budget of €13 billion, will boost Europe’s ability to protect and defend its citizens. It will offer EU funded grants for collaborative projects which address emerging and future defence and security threats and bridge technological gaps. ITER, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, is a first-of-a-kind, long-term project to build and operate a reactor to test the feasibility of fusion as an energy source. €6 billion will be allocated to it. The Euratom Research and Training Programme funds research and training on the safety of nuclear energy production.
- The new Digital Europe Programme, with €9.2 billion aims to bring the benefits of the digital transformation to all European citizens and businesses. The programme will boost frontline investments in high-performance computing and data, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and advanced digital skills. It will promote large-scale deployment of digital technologies across economic sectors and it will support the digital transformation of public services and businesses.
The next steps are the actual calls for proposals, the first of which are expected to be announced during the second half of November and December 2020.
The Horizon.Benefin team does not expect significant changes to the format of SME Instruments. We advise all of our existing and potential clients to start preparing early so that enough time is dedicated to the depth and breadth of the proposal. For further information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org