Research and innovation are increasingly interlinked internationally, in a landscape that has been changing rapidly. Alongside industrialised countries, emerging economies have been strengthening their research and innovation systems. The new International Cooperation strategy focuses on research and innovation, in areas of common interest and mutual benefit. The strategy is based in the following 3 objectives.
The European Union is a world leader in research and innovation, responsible for 24% of world expenditure on research, 32% of high impact publications, and 32% of patent applications, while representing only 7% of the population. Excellent science is at the foundation of economic prosperity and wellbeing. Therefore, Horizon 2020 continues to fund the very best science, rewarding top researchers from Europe and beyond, funding also the establishment of world-class research infrastructures. Researcher training, mobility and career development will continue to be encouraged.
Global challenges are important drivers of research and innovation. Our planet has finite resources which need to be cared for sustainably: climate change and infectious diseases do not stop at national borders, food safety needs to be ensured across the globe. For global challenges, worldwide answers are needed and collaboration with developing countries will emphasise joint solutions to specific difficulties, whether it be water management, energy security, agricultural development or particular health issues.
Make industry, and notably SMEs, more competitive by linking research firmly to innovation, leading to better products and services across the globe. Horizon 2020 will build industrial leadership by supporting business R&I and bringing together the public and private sectors from all over the world. Efforts will concentrate on key enabling technologies - such as advanced manufacturing, microelectronics, nanotechnology and biotechnology – that underpin innovation across many industries and sectors.