Scrutiny of Horizon 2020 focuses on European Parliament’s priorities

Oakdene Hollins is pleased to have worked with Erdyn Consultants on the European Parliament’s scrutiny of Horizon 2020 for the Industry Research and Energy Committee. The full briefing note has now been published.

Although we found that the key EP priorities have by-and-large been well addressed within the Horizon 2020 programme, we identified some bottlenecks in the implementation of some instruments, programmes and policy actions, and a need to improve the implementation of these measures.

Key findings were:

  • Support to SMEs has been more or less implemented but some improvements are needed.
  • The 'Fast Track to Innovation' programme is highly appreciated by industry, and an increase in participation rates is expected in 2016.
  • The European Research Council and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions have contributed by providing long-term funding, thus attracting the best researchers in the world to the EU, and by providing career opportunities through researcher mobility.
  • Although the budget lines allocated to 'Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation and Science with and for Society' are appropriate, the impact of the funding in spreading excellence and widening participation is questionable.
  • More transparency in the implementation of Public-Private Partnerships and the European Institute of Technology, as well as greater openness to new members, is recommended.
  • Some synergies were identified between the 'Future and Emerging Technologies' and other parts of the programme, but this could still be improved upon.
  • The policy on Open Access to scientific publications and research data has been efficiently implemented, with only some problems in relation to author processing charges by hybrid journals.
  • The Gender Balance goal has not yet been fully achieved, but it has improved since FP7.
  • A better balance between small, medium and large projects could be achieved by supporting more medium sized projects. There are several possibilities for synergy between Horizon 2020 and European Structural and Investment Funds. However, further instructions on how to implement such synergies are needed.

The full briefing note is available from the European Parliament's website.

Simon Strick