Labtimes 2017-06

page 28 Lab Times 6-2017 Analysis Horizon 2020 is drawing to a close. Its final €30 billion Work Programme has just been released. Paving the way for its successor, FP9, remains a challenge, not only in view of Brexit. Beyond the Horizon Upcoming EU Framework Programme, FP9 Pixabay/Free-Photos O pen Science, Open Innovation and Openness to the World or, in short, the “Three Os” have been buzz­ words and key policy priorities of the on­ going EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020. They were coined in 2015 by Carlos Moedas, the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science. In prepa­ ration for the upcoming EU Framework Pro­ gramme, FP9, position papers by govern­ ments, research organisations and interest groups are springing up like mushrooms. Ideas feeding into the debate on FP9 are, for example, a new intergovernmental “Agen­ cy for Disruptive Innovation”, making Eu­ rope a champion in biotech, digital and ar­ tificial intelligence by the French President Emmanuel Macron; a better support for de­ fence research by Johanna Wanka, the Ger­ man Federal Minister for Education and Re­ search or an increase in capacity building research funds for Eastern and Central Eu­ ropean countries. The European Commission proposal for the coming Framework Programme, FP9, is expected for mid-2018 and needs to be adopted at the latest by autumn 2020. Here, Lab Times will try to give a forecast on how lessons learned and novel ideas may shape the post-2020 EU research funding land­ scape. Evolution of Framework Programmes The first research and technology pro­ grammes at Community level date back to the 1950s and were limited to nuclear ener­ gy and coal. Intergovernmental initiatives, such as the European Molecular Biology Or­ ganisation (EMBO), were established in the 60s to foster research cooperation between European countries. Ralf Dahrendorf, the Commissioner for Research, put forward the idea of creating an effective area for Eu­ ropean science in the early 70s. As a con­ sequence, more than two dozen unrelated and poorly endowed research programmes were approved by the Council over the next decade. Commissioner Étienne Davignon initi­ ated, in the early 80s, the development of a comprehensive Community research strat­ egy, providing a framework, which incorpo­ rated hitherto uncoordinated research ef­ forts. The first Framework Programme FP1 – with a €3.3 billion budget – was launched for, at the time, just ten EU Member States in 1984. Thematic priorities included raw materials, energy and industrial competi­ tiveness, which have not lost any relevance. Right now, we just passed the middle of the eighth consecutive programme, called Horizon 2020 or H2020. H2020 is running from 2014 to 2020 with a stunning €75 bil­ lion budget and average annual growth rates of 6.5 percent. Framework Pro­ grammes have become increasingly com­ plex, evident, for example, from participa­ tion or programme design. In H2020, more than 130 countries, including now 28 EU Member States and 16 associated countries, are involved and the recent release of its fi­ nal Work Programme encompassed close to 20 sections with more than 1,700 pag­ es. Framework Programmes have become somehow the-all-in-one solution covering and funding almost every aspect from re­ search to innovation. Evaluation exercises The strong expansion and the rising concerns about EU-added values entailed significant changes in the monitoring and evaluation of EU Framework Programmes. A whole set of instruments is now in place,

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