The EU has invited researchers to apply for the first part of its biggest-ever research funding programme, Horizon 2020, marking a major milestone for Europe as it seeks to create the jobs it needs to grow its way out of the financial crisis.
The EU is offering EUR 15 billion of the nearly EUR 80 billion funding programme over the next two years, covering areas such as health, developing new sources of renewable energy, and greener transport.
Horizon 2020 is meant to create new jobs by supporting small companies, funding blue-sky research, and by helping to solve some of society’s biggest challenges, such as the need for sustainable clean energy and coping with Europe’s ageing populations.
Successful applicants for funding will have to show how their research is able to deliver the types of ‘expected impacts’ which have been identified, such as coming up with new ways to treat chronic diseases like diabetes, and developing sophisticated climate prediction systems. The calls for funding include ambitious ideas, such as developing technology that could be used to deflect an asteroid on a collision course with earth, or using nanotechnology to 3D print material that can be used in electronics.
Funding is available for things like making science attractive to young people and encouraging young women to take up careers in research.
It also contains money to bolster Europe’s research infrastructure, for example by setting up a pan-European computer network that will help researchers to manage and analyse extremely large sets of data, such as that gathered through genome sequencing.
Innovative small companies will play a central part in generating the growth that will lift Europe out of the financial crisis, and the calls set aside EUR 500 million to help smaller companies get funding over the next two years.
For more details you could visit the new Participant portal.