Neelie KROES
Vice-President of the European Commission

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Horizon 2020: Investing in our future

With nearly €80 billion on offer, the EU's new research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020, will be the biggest ever. Just last week we launched it, issuing the first "calls". And already now you can start to see the difference it could make to our future.

For one thing: for the first time ever, we will make funds specifically available to startups and budding entrepreneurs – the guys and girls out there who can really ensure an innovative future for Europe. Like €10 million to help EU web and mobile startups succeed. And €5 million for ICT entrepreneurship – giving younger people the confidence and support to set up their own business.

Second, we will invest in those areas that have the potential to transform our economy.  That means sectors like:

  • Electronics – responsible for the chip innovations found in your phone; and maybe soon in your car and your fridge too.
  • Photonics, a global market worth €350 billion last year, of which Europe takes nearly one fifth.
  • Robotics, with applications from agriculture, healthcare, and transport - to manufacturing, security and utilities.
  • High Performance Computing, helping scientists, small businesses and society benefit from the big data boost.
  • 5G, the next generation of communications technology.
  • And "Factories of the Future": using robots, 3D and laser-based manufacturing and other tools to ensure more efficient, flexible, smart and sustainable production.

In all those cases I want us to use EU funding well and wisely – so it will form just part of a wider public-private partnership (PPP) – of which we launched the first a few months ago, and the remainder today.

That partnership with industry can bring real benefits. Indeed, just yesterday, members of the electronics industry presented me with the main elements of a roadmap for how Europe can regain the edge in designing and manufacturing electronics – as part of our Electronics Strategy to facilitate investment of €100 billion, double the value of EU microchip production and create 250,000 European jobs.

I am convinced that we work better when we work together as Europe. I know many in the industry are also becoming aware of the benefits of pooling resources to achieve global scale. So: from the great startup ideas that could make Europe the home of innovation—to the chips that make the latest gadgets possible: Horizon 2020 will be a great way to support European leadership and excellence, stimulate European growth, and address the problems of our society.

And, throughout, we will be reaching out to the right people to ensure EU money works for Europe.

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Leif Andersen, Copenhagen's picture

Hi Neelie, I am pretty sure that the whole Horizon 2020 set up will make a hugh positive difference to the overall EU economy. I know for certain that there are a lot of startup entrepreneurs here in Denmark that will apply the Horizon 2020 funding. Best regards Leif

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