EC to release £63bn for research and innovation projects

By Derek du Preez
30 Nov 2011 View Comments

The European Commission (EC) has released details of new funding to be made available for research and innovation, where most will be allocated to ICT.

Neelie Kroes, EC vice president for the Digital Agenda, outlined details of the £63bn project, entitled ‘Horizon 2020', in a blog today.

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Kroes wrote: "Today is great news for Europe's innovators, and Europe's economy. The EC is proposing £63bn in funding for research and innovation over seven years.

"The programme will make it easier to seek funding, easier to bring good ideas to market and easier for Europe to invest in innovation for the future."

Kroes indicates that investment in research can lead to greater long-term returns, and pointed to the £102bn EU investment in 3G research that enabled the 3G mobile market, which is now worth £213bn.

The blog also said the ICT sector is just under five per cent of GDP in Europe but contributes to 25 per cent of business research and development spending, which is why Kroes has said that ICT will be "the most important thematic area of funding of the Horizon 2020 proposal".

Funding will be allocated to areas such as e-infrastructures for science and key enabling technologies, such as micro-/nano-electronics.

"With the big step forward of Horizon 2020, we can look at a whole new range of areas that will shape our future world and future economy – areas such as nano-electronics, creative digital content, robotics, and the infrastructure and services that will support our future internet," said Kroes.

"So that future innovation is not just created here in Europe, but developed and brought to market here, too."

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