Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD, has welcomed the endorsement of the outline agreement on the next Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon Europe, which will run from 2021 to 2027.

The European Commission first presented the proposal for Horizon Europe in June 2018, with a budget of €100 billion, and the proposal has been subject to intensive discussions and negotiations between Member States, the European Commission, and the European Parliament.

Minister Halligan said: “I welcome yesterday’s vote at the European Parliament.  Research and innovation are key activities which are at the heart of our current and future economic and social development, and this vote will now allow the development of Horizon Europe to move to the next stage, where we begin to plan in a strategic way to maximise the impact of these activities for the citizens of Ireland and Europe.”

The Minister welcomed a number of measures in the agreed outline, notably the European Innovation Council, which will provide a range of supports to European SMEs, through grants and also , grants in combination with equity investment and loans in ‘blended finance’ in order to help SMEs to develop new incremental and disruptive technologies, to scale up and to become successful on a global scale.

The Minister also welcomed the significant proposals to maximise the social impact of Horizon Europe, with dedicated missions in areas such as cancer, climate change, healthy oceans, soil health, and smart cities.

He said: “I am particularly pleased to note the recognition of the need to address significant social challenges using all elements research and innovation from STEM to the humanities, which is notable in the mission-based element of the Programme, but which is obvious throughout Horizon Europe.  Addressing these challenges is vital to securing the wellbeing and success of both this generation and future generations.”

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