The next EU research funding programme, Horizon 2020 will maintain the core principals of its predecessor Framework 7. The proposed future programme will fund excellent science (€24.6 bn), industrial leadership (€17.9 bn) and societal challenges (€31.7 bn). It also includes consolidated and revised funding guidelines as the EC continues to strive for simplified funding applications, reporting and auditing. The proposal for Horizon 2020 was presented to the European Commission on 30 November 2011.
The EC’s budget for Horizon 2020, which will run from 2014 to 2020, would be about €80 bn, a significant increase from Framework 7, which has a budget of €53 bn. The European Research Council (ERC) is the biggest winner in the current plans securing over double its current budget for basic research. However, the ERC’s budget has increased year-on-year since its inception – the 2013 budget is €1.8 bn. For Horizon 2020, the seemingly significant increase only represents €1.9 bn annually.
The Commission also appears to be coming good on its promise to abolish time-sheets for researchers working full time on EU projects.
The current Horizon 2020 plans must be approved by the EU member states and by the European Parliament and the proposal is likely to change before the end of 2013.