Horizon 2020

The European Commission has announced an ocean energy action plan in European seas and oceans by 2020 and beyond. As part of the two-step action plan, the European Commission will set up an Ocean Energy Forum, a lead body to guide EU support for research and innovation in ocean energy.

Horizon 2020, the EU’s flagship €80 billion research and innovation fund was launched on 11th December. The European Commission has moved quickly to release calls for proposals worth more than €15 billion over the first two years. The funding is intended to help boost Europe's knowledge-driven economy, and tackle issues that will make a difference in people's lives.

The €7.8 billion budget for 2014 is focused on the three key pillars of Horizon 2020:

The next LIFE programme - the EU's financial instrument supporting environmental and climate action projects carried out by public or private bodies in 2014-2020 – will be debated and put to a vote on Thursday. As agreed with EU ministers, its budget will increase to €3.1 billion (from €2.2 billion currently) to tackle new tasks and challenges, mainly in the climate action and resource efficiency fields.

The European Commission’s Regional Policy Directorate and the Committee of the Regions jointly hosted their 11th annual Open Days event in Brussels between 7th and 10th October. The event attracted over 5500 policy makers from local and regional authorities throughout Europe.  During the week over 350 workshops, debates and conferences were held on the theme of Regions and Cities.

 

Horizon2020 is the European Commission’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, covering the period 2014-2020. One of the aims of the programme is to promote scientific research that tackles the grand societal challenges facing Europe and the World.

The current Irish Presidency of the EU, which runs until June 2013, has taken issue with the earmarking of 75% of energy research funding for renewable energy, end-user energy efficiency, smart grids as well as storage. Leaving 15% for market uptake of energy innovations. The Irish Presidency calls the EU parliament’s earmarking for a green energy research budget “a significant departure from the spirit of the [Council of Ministers’ position] on the H2020 regulation”.