Horizon Europe: Next Steps for Missions and Partnerships

By joint invitation of Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, and Heinz Faßmann, Austrian Federal Minister for Education, Science and Research and current President of the Competitiveness Council for the part Research, representatives of the 28 members states met in Brussels on 15 October to discuss the issues of Research and Innovation Missions and large partnership initiatives in Horizon Europe.

The meeting took place two weeks after the Council had decided to include the areas of Missions and institutional Partnerships in the legal text of Horizon Europe. As promised by Commissioner Moedas at the Competitiveness Council meeting on 28 September 2018, the European Commission presented a non-paper, containing a list of areas which the Commission believes to have the greatest potential to be the basis of the first Missions, and of the large Partnership Initiatives (both public-public/Art. 185 TFEU and public-private/Art. 187 TFEU) within Horizon Europe.

Commissioner Moedas presented the list of areas to the ministers in detail, also explaining the process and the reasoning within the European Commission. A lively exchange of views followed. Many ministers pointed out the importance of the role of member states in both the selection and implementation of Missions and Partnerships. Furthermore they emphasised that Missions must be relevant and meaningful for citizens. 

The five missions suggested are in the fields of digitisation, health, "clean Europe", and food and agriculture. The Commission presented ten options for industry partnerships. Missions are expected to gain some 10 per cent of the budget in the first years of Horizon Europe, with each mission earmarked around €1-2 billion in total. Meanwhile, partnerships would account for 30-40 per cent of the budget, the Commission says.

Minister Faßmann concluded the following on behalf of the Council:

  • The member states acknowledged the preparatory work of the Commission in preparing the list of areas.
  • The Presidency aims for an agreement on the list of areas for Missions and institutional Partnerships at the next meeting of the Competitiveness Council on 30 November 2018.

As a first step towards the agreement in Council, the Presidency organised a technical seminar on 17 October 2018.

More information:
Press release by the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union
Article "EU science ministers weigh up five research missions, ten industry partnerships" in Science|Business, on the technical seminar of 17 October

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