The European Commission has announced a major European research and innovation investment plan for the period 2014 to 2020. This will be the successor to the current Framework Seven programme, to which more than 1,200 applicants from Ireland have shared €384 million for research and development.
Horizon 2020 will have a proposed budget of €90bn. The programme will support research towards excellent science, competitive industries and better society. Europe’s ministers for science have already approved the general structure of the programme. However, there is still a long way to go before final approval by member states and the European Parliament by the end of 2013.
While the science ministers have approved the budget, it will be those with the finance portfolio who make the final decision. Under the current climate it may be hard to sustain the €90bn budget, and there are fears that it may have to drop as low as €60bn.