NUNO GAMA PINTO: THE HORIZON EUROPE PROGRAM AND THE NEW PRIORITIES OF THE RECOVERY AND RESILIENCE MECHANISM
Nuno Gama Pinto, 2022
Member of the AASO Advisory Board. University Professor, PhD in Management, Manager and Business Administrator
With a budget of 95.5 billion euros, it is expected that the Horizon Europe program will help the European Union to reach the target of investing 3% of GDP in R&D by 2030. with national recovery and resilience plans are key objectives of the European Union's new research and innovation framework program
In response to the pandemic crisis, the European Council approved the Recovery Plan for Europe (Next Generation EU), a recovery instrument from which the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism is developed. Recently, the European Commission presented the updated allocation key for the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism grants by the Member States, in accordance with the requirements set out in its regulation. This update took into account the difference between real GDP growth, estimated in the economic forecasts for the autumn of 2020 (at the time of the adoption of that regulation), and the actual data released in the meantime by Eurostat.
According to the new calculations, Portugal could receive 1,634 million euros more in grants than the amount initially foreseen, increasing to around 18.2 billion euros the global amount (between grants and loans), available in the Recovery and Resilience1.
However, it is important to bear in mind the impact that a new macroeconomic framework will certainly have, strongly marked by rising inflation and interest rates in international markets, which in itself will require special attention in the implementation of the PRR.
Although the European Commission has shown openness to adjusting some targets established in the national plans presented by the Member States (negotiations should continue throughout this year), the deadlines for their execution remain until 2026.
On the other hand, the European Commission intends to include in the process of revising the regulation of the European Mechanism for Recovery and Resilience new priorities in terms of energy self-sufficiency, foreseen in the REPowerEU2 plan.
It is estimated that in order to achieve the climate and energy objectives proposed in the European Green Deal for 2030, an additional annual investment of 260 billion euros is required, which corresponds to about 1.5% of the value of the European Union's GDP.
The Horizon Europe programis structured around three fundamental pillars:
- The first aims to promote «the development of quality skills and knowledge in order to strengthen the scientific leadership of the European Union», while also supporting «the creation of new markets, working conditions and skills, namely in the sectors most affected by the negative impacts of the pandemic”.
- The second pillar is dedicated to global challenges and European industrial competitiveness. It aims to strengthen research in areas such as 'natural resources, mobility, food, digital media and energy'. This pillar also provides for the creation of partnerships that can help achieve the objective of carbon neutrality in the European Union by 2050.
- The third and last pillar aims to support the development of an innovative and inclusive Europe, with «stimulating the creation of professional careers, linked to research, in the public and private sectors, making them more inclusive», also intending to «foster the creation research and recruitment ecosystems to train and retain talent in Europe".
The European Innovation Council, which will have a budget of €10 billion for the period 2021-2027, will be the main instrument to support start-up companies and the development of research projects in areas considered a priority by the Ecological Pact European Union and the Recovery Plan for Europe.
Based on this new frame of reference, Portugal expects to be able to double national participation3 in the Horizonte Europa programme, compared to the results obtained with the previous Horizonte 2020 program (2014-2020). In this sense, it hopes to be able to attract around two billion euros for research and innovation activities, on a competitive basis, by the public and private sectors, including SMEs, an amount that compares with around one thousand and one hundred million euros, between 2014 and 2020, during the Horizon 2020 program.
(1)The final version of the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR) – Recover Portugal, Building the Future was approved by the European Commission on June 16, 2021.
(2) In response to the difficulties and disturbances on the world energy market caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the European Commission presented the REPowerEU plan, with a view to energy saving, energy production
(3)The coordination and dissemination of the strategy to reinforce national participation in the Horizonte Europe program is carried out through the PERIN Network – Portugal in Europe Research and Innovation Network.
Article taken from the site ver.pt