We, the undersigned 93 European associations representing key European research & innovation stakeholders, hereby urge the EU Institutions to make research, development and innovation (RD&I) a priority within the next Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027. We call on the Council of the EU to raise the budget allocated to the Horizon Europe programme to at least €120 billion (in 2018 prices), of which at least 60% should be dedicated to the “Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness” pillar.
We very much welcomed the EU Institutions’ efforts to reach a partial agreement on Horizon Europe. This enabled to start the preparation for the implementation of the programme in time. The European innovation community is committed to be actively involved in a concrete co-creation process towards Horizon Europe’s successful implementation. However, the programme will need an adequate budget at the level of its ambitions. The European Parliament has already taken a stand to prioritise RD&I in the EU budget. Similarly, we encourage Member States to support a budget of at least €120 billion (in 2018 prices). This would ensure that Horizon Europe delivers on its promises to:
- Boost Europe’s future growth, employment and competitiveness. As recognised in the European Industrial Strategy, RD&I is the real engine of growth. Getting a sufficient budget for Horizon Europe would not only mean the creation of up to 100,000 jobs in RD&I activities between 2021-2027, but also €11 of GDP in return for each €1 invested over 25 years.
- Secure Europe’s seat amongst the frontrunners of the technological revolution. While the international competition for innovative solutions escalates, European RD&I expenditure remains relatively low compared to our global competitors. The target of 3% of GDP invested in R&D should now become a reality.
- Develop and scale up the technologies that will power our continent in the 21st century. Horizon Europe needs to build on the successes of Horizon 2020 and scale up the investments made so far. As stated by the Lamy Group, we need a budget that paves the way for Europe to deliver on the key societal challenges of today and anticipate those of tomorrow.
For such promises to be fulfilled, excellent cross-border collaborative RD&I with impact needs to be prioritised within Horizon Europe. EU Members States should allocate a budget share of at least 60% of Horizon Europe’s total budget to its pillar II - Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness. This pillar is the truly collaborative part of Horizon Europe, breaking silos to promote the flow of knowledge between public research and industry. This HEU pillar II is crucial to:
- Build long-term trust-based partnerships amongst a wide variety of European RD&I actors, which is an indispensable element to strengthen Europe’s RD&I ecosystems and industrial value-chains. This would ensure the Industry’s uptake of novel technologies and scale up into new solutions, products and services, improving people’s well-being and quality of life, and increasing European competitiveness.
- Reduce risk and uncertainty and stimulate business investment in Europe by demonstrating the EU’s support to technology-intensive sectors (including Key Enabling Technologies). This would give the right incentive to private innovators to invest in Europe, rather than abroad.
- Join forces at EU level to better face the great challenges of today and deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals. The HEU pillar II, containing missions and partnerships, especially aims at this ambitious objective and therefore needs to be supported by an adequate budget.
We, the undersigned associations, are ready to further discuss these recommendations with the EU institutions. We are fully convinced that Europe has the potential to lead the global innovation race and to remain a model of economic and social prosperity. For that, Europe needs to strongly invest in pan-European collaborative RD&I.