On November 30, 2011 the European Commission presented a package of measures to boost research, innovation and competitiveness in Europe. Running from 2014 to 2020 with an €80 billion budget, for the first time it brings together all EU research and innovation funding under a single programme.
Presenting Horizon 2020, Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said: “We need a new vision for European research and innovation in a dramatically changed economic environment. Horizon 2020 provides direct stimulus to the economy and secures our science and technology base and industrial competitiveness for the future, promising a smarter, more sustainable and more inclusive society.”
Horizon 2020 will focus funds on three key objectives. It will support the EU’s position as a world leader in science with a dedicated budget of €24.6 billion. It will help secure industrial leadership in innovation with a budget of €17.9 billion. This includes a major investment of €13.7 billion in key technologies, as well as greater access to capital and support for SMEs. Finally, €31.7 billion will go towards addressing major concerns shared by all Europeans, across six key themes:
- Health, demographic change and well-being;
- Food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime research and the bio-economy;
- Secure, clean and efficient energy;
- Smart, green an integrated transport;
- Climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials;
- Inclusive, innovative and secure societies.
Euromines supports Horizon 2020 proposal which explicitly mentions as one priority Raw Materials. Securing reliable and undistorted access to raw materials is increasingly becoming an important factor for the EU’s competitiveness and Horizon 2020 initiative which aims at securing Europe’s global competitiveness is warmly welcomed by the extractive industry.
It has been announced that Horizon 2020 has been built around radically simplified rules and procedures to attract more top researchers and a broader range of innovative enterprises. The market-driven approach will include creating partnerships with the private sector and Member States to bring together the resources needed. The ERA-MIN project which facilitates the cooperation between Member States’ research programmes is the area of raw materials prepares the ground for this.
Euromines is the European representation of the extractive industry. The organisation represents 42 different metals and minerals being mined in Europe and abroad and companies employing 350000 people in Europe. Its membership also includes many technology providers for the extractive industry.