On 2 February 2021, the European Commission and the Portuguese presidency of the EU council hosted the launch event for Horizon Europe (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyjoJv-Kqe4),certainly the largest European research and innovation framework programme.
Speakers, among which, researchers, business leaders and political and governmental officials from all over Europe intervened to illustrate the ‘Horizon Europe 2021’ programme.
To define the role of science in both today and tomorrow society and to foster cooperation for a resilient Europe, the attention moved to 3 key priorities
- Relation between science and employment
- Relation between science and the new frontiers of knowledge
- Needs to attract and train more scientists
Furthermore, renewed efforts will create markets for more and better employment, but also face the new frontiers of knowledge, as Europe needs more ideas across discipline and also science attracts talents in need of training for the years to come. Following the European communications of September 30th to reaffirm the European commitment for the target of 3% investment in R&D in terms of GDP by 2030, the total budget of Horizon Europe increased by 30% relatively to the previous programme.
‘Now is the time for action’ were the words of Manuel Heitor, the minister for science, technology and higher education of Portugal and moderator for the event, actions in the form of greener and digital transition for Europe.
This accomplishment requires measures towards a strategic autonomy and a Europe more resilient and also more social, with knowledge from all disciplines engaging throughout global cooperation and only if research and innovation will become the driving forces of our future. The interventions continued to expose challenges and opportunities for the Horizon Europe programme in two particular areas:
- biomedicine; and
- advanced materials, already significant today and in the coming years.
In particularly, innovations at nano-scale (one billionth of a meter or 10-9m) are at the center of attention, with a large number of speakers working on this same environment.
Lastly, the discussion moved to research and innovation for digital society, how modern and advanced IT solutions together with new frontiers of knowledge on artificial intelligence, quantum science and other innovations that can foster the accelleration towards the green and digital transitions. A final recommendation was intended for all the European programmes to work together in cooperation with the European institutions and officials, but also engage with the citizens and private businesses.