The UK Research Office has recently published a series of summaries of consultation workshops on the EC’s next Framework Programme, called Horizon 2020. These workshops are part of the EC’s initial preparations for its proposals on the funding programme, which should be published by the end of the year.
The summaries are helpful to gain an understanding of the likely funding policy directions of the EC in Horizon 2020, however one should bear in mind that these are not yet finalized and subject to change.
We’ve mentioned previously that the funding will be driven by research into grand challenges and these reports give early indications of what those are likely to be. All of the challenges are intended to be interdisciplinary, and significantly social sciences are expected to feature to a greater or lesser extent in all of them. ICT also plays a key role in several of the challenges. I’ve given an indication under the headings below of some relevant sub-themes likely to feature within each challenge.
Some, like the Marie Curie actions report, are useful reading for everyone since this is a bottom-up, researcher driven scheme. I’ve already expanded on the key points for Marie Curie actions in a previous blog post.
The links are below (login required*):
Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and the Bio-Economy Challenge:
Some relevant themes: Food security; Climate change; Preservation of natural resources; Protection of biodiversity and ecosystem services; Alleviation of hunger and poverty; Low carbon economy; Water; Nutrition; Fisheries; Biotechnology.
Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy Challenge:
Some relevant themes: Energy storage; Renewable heating and cooling; Marine energy; Geothermal energy; Materials; ICT to support smart grids, energy efficient buildings and neighbourhoods; Thermal energy.
Key messages covered in a previous post.
Some relevant themes: Cultural heritage; Urban environment; Natural hazards; Earth observation systems; Air quality; Land use and landscape; Climate change; Biodiversity crises; Societal and political aspects of challenges; Energy use and efficiency.
Some relevant themes: Trustworthy digital societies; Human aspects of new technology; Global power shifts; Global poverty and justice; Diversity; Inequality; Memory; Identity; Social entrepreneurship; New media; Conflict prevention; Innovative education systems; e-inclusion and e-governance; Security.
Some relevant themes: Green transport including materials and manufacturing processes; Social implications of transport innovations; Integrated transport; Competitive transport; Electric vehicles; Hydrogen and fuel cells; ICT for integrated transport.
Innovation in Small and Medium Enterprises:
The key messages: SMEs are expected to play a major role in Horizon 2020; there should be dedicated SME actions covering the whole innovation cycle; it’s important to close the gap between idea and market; there should be simple rules and admin procedures for SMEs; avoid proliferation and overlap of EU funding instruments.
Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies:
Some relevant themes: ICT, Space technologies; Nano-materials, materials and new production technologies; Industrial biotechnology.
Health, Demographic Change and Well-Being Challenge:
EC report (UKRO summary not yet available)
Some relevant themes: Environment and health; Nutrition and health; Behaviour change for healthy lifestyles; Climate change impacts on disease and health; Strategies for healthy ageing; Growing complexity of managing health in old age; Cognitive functions of the elderly; Mechanisms of disease; Detection and treatment; Optimising health care and health systems; ICT in health; Assisted and independent living; Preparedness and emerging epidemics.
* Note: you’ll need an UKRO user account in order to view these summaries, and if you work at the University of Lincoln you can create a free account here. You can read the unedited EC versions of the reports without an UKRO account by visiting the alternate “EC report” links above.