Connecting research to policy and societal expectations
By Ingemar Pongratz
The successor to the current Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme is currently in preparation. The next programme will be called Horizon Europe and will be launched in 2021.
The discussion and news from the European Commission and the European Parliament suggest that Horizon Europe will be more linked with European policy. Connecting research to policy and societal expectations will be more prominent in Horizon Europe compared to Horizon 2020
Recent documents provide interesting insights as to what kind of impact Horizon Europe will provide. Horizon Europe is expected to be rather similar in structure to Horizon 2020, where for example the Excellent Science, Global Challenges and Innovation pillars are still in place. In addition, activities are planned to strengthen participation of members states that experienced problems entering into Horizon 2020.
Furthermore, it is clear that Horizon Europe will address many of the pressing issues that the European public and the EU member states face today. As such there is a clear policy connection between Horizon Europe and many different policy areas.
These areas include for example the European Green Deal. In addition, Horizon Europe will also address European Digitalization, Democracy development, skill development, issues around migration and other sensitive subjects.
In the Health area, it is very interesting to note that the European Commission and the European Parliament places a lot of focus on Disease Prevention and Staying Healthy. There are clear connections to both outdoors and indoor environment. This suggest a close connection between Health and for example Housing projects in Horizon Europe.
In Horizon Europe we can expect project to improve patient health care and to introduce new digital tools to support the European Health Care system.
The expected impacts for the Horizon Europe are also rather clear. In the Health area, impact includes for example reduced child mortality, reduced diseases due to environmental problems, and ability of the European Public will be able to improve their health through better lifestyle choices. Importantly, Horizon Europe is rather clear that the public is expected to make their own choices through improved health literacy. This expectation requires strong communication between the project and the community.
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