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On this page you can find the latest news on the subject of research and innovation.

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ERC President's report on changes to research assessment

Last year, the Scientific Council of the ERC adapted the review process for ERC calls for proposals - in favour of even greater consideration of qualitative aspects in the evaluation of project ideas and principal investigators. Scientific excellence remains the sole selection criterion. Among other things, the (already applicable) principle of focussing on the project proposal in the review process has been strengthened. In addition, there are no longer any predefined applicant profiles and research achievements can be contextualised through short, factual descriptions.


UAS4EUROPE: Towards 2028 – Shaping the Future of the EU Framework Programme for R&I

On 6 March 2024, the Universities of Applied Sciences Network (UAS4EUROPE) published a position paper on the future of the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The position paper outlines a vision for the 10th Framework Programme on how UAS can make an even greater contribution to the success of European research, innovation and competitiveness.


€600 million to support research and innovation on agroecology and animal health and welfare

The European Commission, EU Member States and Associated Countries have joined forces to fund two major Research and Innovation partnerships in key areas of agricultural production. They will work over the next seven years on agroecology and on animal health and welfare, essential issues for sustainable farming and food systems. The European Partnership on Agroecology and the European Partnership on Animal Health and Welfare are being launched under the umbrella of the EU’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon Europe, following a co-creation process of several years with close involvement of the European Commission.


EU project SMHYLES develops novel salt- and water-based hybrid energy storage systems (HESS) on an industrial scale

Munich/Trento (Italy) - One of the greatest challenges of the 21st century is the transition to climate-neutral energy sources. Here, reliable energy storage plays a key role, as production and load peaks in the electricity grid require flexible storage systems that can be used for a wide range of applications. The recently launched EU project SMHYLES aims to develop innovative, sustainable, and safe salt- and/or water-based hybrid energy storage systems. These combine two storage technologies and their respective advantages: long duration capacity and high power density. The new low-CRM (critical raw materials) systems will also contribute to Europe’s energy independence. The SMHYLES project, coordinated by the “Fondazione Bruno Kessler” (Italy), is funded by the EU under Horizon Europe with around €6 million for a period of four years from January 2024 on. The consortium includes 16 partners from seven countries.

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Launch of Foresight platform "futures4europe"

The European Commission (DG RTD) announced the launch of „futures4europe“, a platform aimed to facilitate engagement with strategic foresight activities towards a Research and Innovation (R&I) foresight community. It brings together foresight experts and R&I policy-makers from across the EU, collecting national and European foresight projects and promoting futures literacy through educational material and relevant newsletters.


EU Commission proposes new initiatives to boost economic security

On 24 January, the European Commission presented five proposals to strengthen Europe's competitiveness and economic security at a time of growing geopolitical tensions. Two of these are directly relevant to the R&I sector. The Commission launched a public consultation (deadline: 30 April 2024) on the promotion of dual-use technologies, which can have both civilian and military applications.


High-level expert group on the next EU Research Framework Programme starts work

The European Commission has set up an independent advisory group for the EU's next research framework programme, officially kicking off the design process for the 10th Framework Programme. Chaired by former Portuguese Science Minister Manuel Heitor, the 15-member expert group has now started its work to inform the ongoing discussions on FP10 (from 2028). The new expert group is modelled on the 12-member expert group chaired by Pascal Lamy, former EU Trade Commissioner and Head of the World Trade Organisation, which advised the EU Commission on the development of "Horizon Europe" with its LAB-FAB-APP report in 2017. The German expert in the group is Georg Schütte, Secretary General of the Volkswagen Foundation and former State Secretary at the BMBF. The expert group's proposals are due to be published at the end of 2024. A battle is already brewing over the size of the FP10 budget: The European Parliament, together with the R&I community, has launched a campaign for a dedicated research budget of €200 billion, while member states are actively considering cuts to the existing €95.5 billion programme.


Overview of the draft Strategic Plan 2025-27 of Horizon Europe

The Strategic Plan of the R&I Framework Programme is published twice per programme period and forms the basis for the preparation of work programmes and calls for proposals. The Commission is currently working on the Horizon Europe Strategic Programming for 2025-27, which should be finalised before the European elections.


DESCA: New Model Consortium Agreement for lump sum projects in Horizon Europe

With the participation of representatives of the European Commission and numerous stakeholders coming from all across Europe, the newly developed DESCA (Development of a Simplified Consortium Agreement) 2.0 Consortium Agreement model was published in Brussels on 6 February 2024.


Horizon 2020 evaluation shows that investment in EU research and innovation greatly pays off

Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation programme running from 2014 to 2020 with a budget of nearly €80 billion, made a major contribution to building an EU society and economy rooted in knowledge and innovation and benefitted Europeans far beyond what could have been achieved at national or regional level.

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