As part of the EU’s Europe 2020 strategy €6.4bn is being offered as a long-term investment in a smarter, sustainable and more inclusive Europe by funding projects relating to economic and societal challenges including climate change, energy and food security, health and the ageing population.
Grants will be awarded through “calls for proposals” and evaluations over the next 14 months. 16,000 participants are approximated to receive funding including 3,000 SMEs. SMEs will receive close to €800m and there will be ring-fenced budgets in several areas whereby 35 percent of the total budget must be due to SME participation.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) research will receive €1.2bn with approximately €600m for next generation network and service infrastructures, robotic systems, electronic and photonic components, and digital content technologies. More than €400m will support research into how ICT can address challenges such as a lower-carbon economy, an ageing society, and adaptable and sustainable factories.
Environmental research projects will receive approximately €205m with the beneficiaries of the grants committing to making their publications arising from their research publically available following an embargo period in order to speed up the sharing of environmental research results.
The package is expected to create 165,000 jobs.