The European Commission has opened the final online consultation on the draft plan for Horizon Europe, the proposed €94.1 billion seven-year research programme.
The survey questions primarily target pan-European umbrella associations of national organisations, which have until 17 November to respond. It is accompanied by a new draft of what will eventually become the implementation plan for Horizon Europe’s first four years.
Horizon Europe’s basic structure is already laid down in a near-finished law, but the plan will put the meat on the bones of what the different bits of the programme need to achieve. The plan has already been through several drafts, and the commission is now working towards a final version that should be adopted in early 2020.
This is the final opportunity for public comment, but consultation of member states will continue for another few months.
Following the leak of an earlier version on 24 October, there are few surprises. As expected, the draft plan, dated 31 October, aligns Horizon Europe’s priorities with those of incoming commission president Ursula von der Leyen, putting matters such as climate change, migration and online misinformation high on the agenda.
Added to the draft are four new proposals for research partnerships that were put forward by member states. They cover antibiotic resistance, smart cities, zero-carbon shipping and the formation of a European Geological Service. Other changes since 24 October are minor – mostly corrections and clarifications.
Alongside the new draft plan, the commission also on 31 October published a report on previous phases of the consultation: an online survey that ran from June to October, and the three-day R&I Days event held in Brussels in late September.