GTFS: Global Trends and Future Scenarios Index

Horizon 2020: Boosting industrial competitiveness


Foreword (excerpts, p.1)

Horizon 2020, our new Research Framework programme, is the EU’s flagship financing programme to strengthen Europe’s innovation leadership, by fostering excellence in research and the development of highly innovative technologies. Almost 80 billion Euros will be invested in the period 2014-2020 in R&I projects. This will help the EU to compete in the supply of new, highly developed and manufactured EU products and services on the international market. This comes on top of the funding available under the European Structural and Investment Funds, which should be used to modernise research and innovation capacities at national and regional level.

The philosophy and governance of the Horizon 2020 have also been radically modernised. Public-private partnerships, in which industrial stakeholder participate in the setting of priorities for research and contribute to the support programmes, are at the core of the approach. In the industry-led Joint Technology Initiatives for aviation, new medicines, energy storage, electronics and bio-technology, industry investments are expected to be more than 1.5 times the EU budget contribution of 6.2 billion Euros. Horizon 2020 is already the biggest single instrument in Europe to support the development of key enabling technologies such as nano-electronics or photonics, fostering their application in the products and services of the future.

Horizon 2020 will make a vital contribution in supporting innovative SMEs at all stages of the innovation cycle, from lab to market. As SMEs provide two out of every three private sector jobs and contribute to over half the total value-added by EU businesses, it is of the crucial importance that the innovative potential of these businesses is fully realised. With the EU helping to fill funding gaps for pioneering research and innovation and to bring new products to the market, our SMEs can become true innovation leaders worldwide.

José Manuel Barroso
President of the European Commission