The Prince of Asturias, accompanied by the European Commissioner for Research and Innovation, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, and the Minister of Economy and Competitiveness, Luis de Guindos, has inaugurated the VII Conference on Horizon 2020. The act serves as an official presentation in Spain of the The next European research and innovation framework program, which will begin in 2014 and will have a budget of more than 70,000 million euros for a period of seven years within the scope of the European Union (EU).
Horizon 2020, with a budget higher than the previous one – the VII Framework Program (2007-2013) was endowed with 56,000 million euros – and for the first time unites research and innovation activities in the same initiative. It concentrates its resources on three axes: the impulse of Excellent Science to consolidate world-class research in Europe, the promotion of Industrial Leadership to make the EU a more attractive place for investment in R & D & I, and a program focused on the search for solutions to the great Social Challenges.
The Prince of Asturias has highlighted the importance of Spanish R&D and stressed that the EU framework programs “allow us to do science that would otherwise be unattainable, both for budget and for critical mass and possibility of access to markets and networks of contacts that can be very useful for future research ”.
The European Commissioner for Research and Innovation has explained that Horizon 2020 “is the new EU research program, designed to offer results that will improve people's lives. With a budget of more than 70,000 million euros over seven years, it is the largest investment in research and innovation in the EU made to date. That is why I launch a call and propose a challenge to Spanish researchers and companies: to inform themselves about the program, find the necessary partners and participate. "
The Minister of Economy and Competitiveness has stressed that “research and innovation are essential pillars of the new growth model. We must achieve a sustainable system, that society perceives that the effort made in research and innovation, both from the public and private spheres, clearly contributes to improving the quality of life and well-being of citizens ”. In addition, he said that with Horizon 2020 we will place our R&D system among the first in Europe.
The event, organized by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and the Center for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI), has for two days the participation of the Secretary of State Science of Education and Research of Sweden, Peter Honeth, the Spanish Secretary of State R&D, Carmen Vela, community and Spanish authorities, researchers, businessmen and experts in European framework programs.
Spain, which has aligned its Science and Technology and Innovation Strategy with the Horizon 2020 initiatives, aims to increase its rate of return in the European program from 8.3% achieved in the FP7 to 9.5%. Among the central objectives of Spain is also to lead at least 10% of collaborative projects or to increase the number of beneficiaries by 15%.