Simplicity and Flexibility for Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 LogoThe six month Danish EU presidency, which started on the 1st January, will aim to ensure more simplicity and flexibility in Horizon 2020, which will replace Framework Programme 7 in 2014:

Horizon 2020 aims to promote European research and technological development with growth as the ultimate objective. The programme focuses on translating scientific breakthroughs to innovative products and services. Horizon 2020 identifies the grand challenges we face within climate, demographics, sustainability and energy.

The Danish Presidency will work to ensure progress in Horizon 2020 negotiations so that a joint decision by the Council and the European Parliament can be as far-reaching as possible.

The Presidency will also work towards ensuring that the framework programme is marked by more simplicity and flexibility. Simplicity and flexibility is a prerequisite for securing greater participation of companies, especially SMEs.

There must be less time spent on application procedures, paper work and forms so that researchers have more time in the lab. We want – to quote the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn – more research and less bureaucracy.

Higher Education Minister Morten Østergaard’s speech at Avedøreværket in Copenhagen 10 January 2012

This is welcome news for those who took part in the public consultation, which marked simplicity as a key priority along with a recurring call for funding opportunities to be less prescriptive and more open.

The EU presidency rotates between all EU member states every six months, and Denmark will be taking the helm for the first half of 2012 for the seventh time.  During the next six months Denmark aims to bring Europe together and make it more resilient for the tough challenges ahead.

The programme for the Danish presidency was officially presented 6th of January at a press conference in Copenhagen where they set out their agenda for the next six months including their four key priorities for the Danish Presidency:

  • A responsible Europe
  • A dynamic Europe
  • A green Europe
  • A safe Europe

The full speech by the Higher Education Minister, which also discussed the need to create financial stability, economic growth and a green and sustainable Europe, can be read here.

The final calls under the Seventh Framework Programme will be announced in the summer.