Horizon 2020. Teresa Riera: "Europe needs to invest in research and innovation to boost growth and jobs"

Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation

Today the plenary of the European Parliament approved the new seven-year EU programme for research and innovation, 'Horizon 2020'.

Teresa Riera, S&D MEP and author of the parliamentary report on Horizon 2020, believes that the new programme comes at just the right moment, as Europe needs to invest in research and innovation more than ever to increase competitiveness and boost skilled jobs.

Teresa Riera said:

"After months of negotiations with the Council, the final result ensures the new programme will be implemented in January 2014. European scientists and businesses are suffering from the financial crisis and the lack of resources, so they cannot afford any delay on our side.

"Horizon 2020 encourages scientific excellence and paves the way for the EU to recover its industrial leadership. It brings innovative solutions to major social challenges, ranging from affordable and accessible healthcare to clean and sustainable energy.

“I regret that our demands for an ambitious budget were not met by governments obsessed with fiscal consolidation. I still don't understand why everyone in the conservative-dominated Council admits that research and innovation are the key to the economic recovery and then they refuse to put money in. What a lack of coherence!

"Despite the budget, the Parliament has managed to put in place measures to maintain and attract scientific talent in Europe. We cannot afford to let the brain-drain continue. Therefore the budget for the Marie Curie grants has been increased and policies to ensure gender equality introduced.

“Innovative measures such as open access to scientific publications will also help to get the most out of publicly funded research. This has been a red line for the S&Ds, as has ensuring that 85% of the Energy Societal Challenge goes to research and development for renewables and energy efficiency.

“Mechanisms to engage small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are also in place. We cannot forget that SMEs are still the main source of employment in Europe and they play a key role in bringing the results of research onto the market, thus contributing to boost qualified jobs."