Read on
The Bio-Based Industries Consortium (BIC) is pleased with the plans of the European Commission for Horizon Europe, successor of the current Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. Last week, the Commission announced that it wanted to invest a total of € 100 billion in the new program, which will run from 2021 to 2027.
Editorial office / Brussels

Horizon Europe is the most ambitious R & I program ever. It builds on the successes of Horizon 2020 and aims to make the EU the leader in research and innovation. A European Innovation Council (EIC) will also be set up to this end, complementing the current European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT). Here, innovative start-ups and companies can come to market their promising and pioneering new technologies from the lab and seek support in scaling up their ideas.

Investment in the future

European Vice President Jyrki Katainen says he sees the program as an investment in the future of Europe. ‘European funds make it possible for international teams and scientific disciplines to work together to make unprecedented discoveries and thus make a real difference in the lives of European citizens.’

Biobased industries play an important role in this, the BIC observes. They stimulate sustainable growth and create a circular economy, increase European competitiveness and help achieve strategic EU goals, such as the Paris Climate Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The bioeconomy also helps to reindustrialise and revitalize rural and coastal areas, create job opportunities and provide sustainable alternatives for products based on fossil fuels.

Continuation BBI JU

Dirk Carrez, executive director of the BIC, expresses the hope that the ‘new generation of European partnerships’ offers the right framework for a possible continuation of the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) under the new program.

The BBI JU is a public-private partnership that was created within the Horizon 2020 program. It has a total budget of € 3.7 billion for cross-border cooperation projects in the biobased industry. Of this, € 1 billion comes from the Horizon 2020 program and the majority (€ 2.7 billion) is raised by the affiliated companies.

Growth by innovation

In total, more than 18,000 projects were supported through Horizon 2020 until mid-May 2018, with a total value of over € 31 billion. A mid-term review shows that this has contributed to job creation, improving the lives of European citizens and addressing major societal challenges such as climate goals.

About two thirds of economic growth in Europe is due to innovation. According to the European Commission, that will only become more in the future. Research and innovation can generate 100,000 new jobs in the Horizon Europe period and every invested euro is expected to generate an average income of 11 euros within 25 years.