Press Release: Policymakers debate on the role of European Partnerships and Missions in Horizon Europe

On 12 June, Knowledge4Innovation hosted a webinar, discussing the role of European Partnerships and Missions under Horizon Europe. The strategic plan, the five areas defining the missions and the relaunching of research and innovation policies, were among the key topics of the session. Participants were also able to learn how the partnerships and missions will be redefined in light of the challenges coming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our guest speaker was Mr. Julien Guerrier, Director of the Policy and Programming Center at DG Research and Innovation. As co-hosting MEPs, we had Ms. Maria da Graça Carvalho and Ms. Lina Gálvez Muñoz. Moreover, Mr. Joerg Niehoff, Head of Sector Partnerships, and Mr. Robert Schröder, Policy Officer at DG Research and Innovation, were answering some of the questions posed during the webinar.

Mr. Guerrier explained the direction which Horizon Europe will take in the upcoming years. He stressed that the main objective should be rebuilding and reconstructing a new Europe  which is  greener, more digital and more resilient. To achieve this, research and innovation is key. The budget proposed to address these challenges is around 105.8 billion euros, an increase which will benefit the efforts to accelerate the green and digital transitions. Additionally, Mr. Guerrier, highlighted that Horizon Europe only represents 10% of the European public research and innovation investment. Therefore, the coordination and development of new R&I policies with and in member states is crucial.. 

Mr. Niehoff explained that partnerships are still a work in progress, and he underlined that the narrative has changed as a consequence of the COVID-19 crisis. He is satisfied with the design of the partnerships and is confident they are going to achieve the proposed objectives. The outlook in regards to the launch of the 49 Partnerships, including the 9 EIT KICs, is optimistic, and he referred to them as a very good starting point. 

Mr. Schröder pointed out that we are only in the early stages of the program and that the Commission is still designing the evaluation of the missions and defining the projects. 

As a whole, the session offered a glimpse of what needs to be done prior to the launch of the partnerships, their main objectives as well as funding. The speakers agreed on the need for enhanced collaboration between member states, stakeholders, and the European institutions for the overall success of the program.