In the virtual meeting, whose objective is to agree on a European research and innovation policy against COVID-19, Minister Duque has proposed concentrating Community funds on a mission to achieve developments with very defined and specific purposes. This mission strategy is one of the main proposals for the next European framework program, Horizon Europe.
The high-level informal meeting of the Council of Research Ministers of the European Union has started from an action plan with 10 proposals that will make it possible to tackle the COVID crisis. The Croatian Presidency has tasked member states with proposing mechanisms for coordinating national policies, as well as proposing the use of other European funds, such as structural funds, to boost research and innovation in response to COVID-19.
Minister Duque has subscribed to this last proposal and has recognized that the action plan proposed by the Croatian presidency is a good starting point, but that "the EU must not limit itself to a minimum performance". In this sense, the minister has defended that, in addition to the mission focus, the EU must favor the urgent and wide application of the results and reduce administrative processes as much as possible.
Spain's position seeks European coordination and cooperation in the face of the crisis, through the creation of an open patent bank with the technologies and therapies developed against COVID, as well as using European funds to support innovative SMEs, research projects and the acquisition of scientific material for operational programs. "Close contact with the business fabric is very necessary to ensure the full production capacity of the innovations developed and meet the demands," said the minister.
Another of Duque's proposals has been the creation of a call under the H2020 framework program with sufficient funding, above 250 million euros.
The Minister of Science and Innovation has concluded his speech by paraphrasing the President of the Commission, Von der Leyen: "Every euro in the European budget must be aimed at combating the pandemic and every measure we take must make it easier for funding to flow quickly and effective. "