The R&I Days in a nutshell
The European Research and Innovation (R&I) Days took place from the 22nd until the 24th of September, this year completely online. The event was created in 2019 in order to bring together policymakers, researchers and entrepreneurs and offer a space to discuss the future of research and innovation in Europe. With the Horizon 2020 programme ending soon, the new research programme Horizon Europe took the overtone this year. Trainee consultant Jennifa Dorleijn outlines some of the highlights of the R&I Days 2020.
The event brought together over 35.000 participants from 188 different countries divided over 146 sessions: you get the gist, too much to the summarize. All input given by the stakeholders during the R&I Days will be taken into account in defining a strategy for the new Horizon Europe programme. Below you’ll find some of the highlights discussed during the event.
The European Commission (EC) aims to create more impact by means of missions and citizen participation. As a result, five missions were determined and experts were assigned with the task of involving citizens with prioritizing, defining and shaping these five missions of the Horizon Europe programme. The following missions were proposed at the R&I Days:
- Conquering Cancer: Mission Possible
- A Climate Resilient EUrope – Prepare Europe for climate disruptions and accelerate the transformation to a climate resilient and just Europe by 2030
- Mission Starfish 2030: Restore our Ocean and Waters
- 100 Climate-Neutral Cities by 2030 – by and for the citizens
- Caring for Soil is Caring for Life
Support via EIC: Pathfinder and Accelerator are no longer pilots
With the launch of Horizon Europe, both the EIC Pathfinder and Accelerator pilots will be transformed into mainstream instruments that complement each other in bridging ideas and market-ready innovations. Furthermore, the EIC Fund has been established to fill the equity gap during the start-up phase. This is the first time the EC directly invests in organisations via shares. Besides supporting state-of-the-art innovations through subsidies and blended finance, the EIC will give out Seals of Excellence to companies. This quality mark will be handed out to organisations who are eligible for funding, but cannot be financed through Horizon because of budget overruns.
Simplification within the Multiannual Financial Framework
With a budget of over € 100 billion, the Horizon Europe programme is a figurehead of the perennial budget of the EU titled the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). Building on experiences of the Horizon 2020 programme, the aim is to simplify the current MFF via three steps:
- Less and simplified financial regulation. The EC is a proponent of more lump sum subsidies and two-step applications.
- Better coherence between various subsidy programmes via one template for all programmes.
- Harmonizing existing models such as the Model Grant Agreement.
It is expected that the MFF will be completed somewhere in October.
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