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As part of a recent public consultation conducted by the European Commission on the past, present and future of the European research and innovation framework programmes, the European University Association has outlined a series of recommendations aiming to improve Horizon Europe and contribute to the design of the programme that will succeed it.

The public consultation was launched in December 2022 to provide stakeholders with the opportunity to share their views and feedback on the performance of Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe, as well as shape the strategic orientations for the Horizon Europe Strategic Plan 2025-2027.

In its recommendations, EUA focused on a number of features and cross-cutting themes of the EU research and innovation framework programmes. These notably include innovation, Open Science, EU Missions, multidisciplinarity, inclusion of social sciences and the humanities, international cooperation, synergies with other funding programmes, and rules for participation and simplification.

In addition, the Association has also published a joint statement with CESAER expressing concern about the unbalanced share of funding for research projects within the Horizon Europe clusters, in comparison to projects further along in their development and implementation phases.

EUA has long been a recognised stakeholder in the development of the EU Framework Programmes for Research and Innovation. As a next step, the Association will work with its new task-and-finish group to further develop its recommendations to improve Horizon Europe, as well as formulate perspectives on the main challenges ahead and key areas to be considered in the design of the EU’s next R&I framework programme.

Stephane Berghmans, EUA Director of Research and Innovation, said “Today, a strong EU R&I framework programme is more crucial than ever to respond to current and future global challenges and provide the right tools to support the full potential of curiosity-driven, fundamental research. EUA is committed to contributing to the design of such a programme on behalf of universities in Europe. In the months ahead, we look forward to working with our community to develop a vision for strong future EU investments to drive Europe’s research and innovation capacity forward”.

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