Horizon 2020

Testing the Herschel telescope at ESA’s ESTEC site (NL). Orbiting the Earth at a height of 1.5 million km and fitted with a 3.5 metre primary mirror – the biggest ever launched into space – Herschel detects light rays in the extreme ultra-red spectrum and the submillimetric regions that do not penetrate to terrestrial telescopes due to the atmospheric layer. It thereby opens up a new unexplored field to astrophysicists.© ESA
Testing the Herschel telescope at ESA’s ESTEC site (NL). Orbiting the Earth at a height of 1.5 million km and fitted with a 3.5 metre primary mirror – the biggest ever launched into space – Herschel detects light rays in the extreme ultra-red spectrum and the submillimetric regions that do not penetrate to terrestrial telescopes due to the atmospheric layer. It thereby opens up a new unexplored field to astrophysicists.
© ESA
© CNRS Photothèque/Erwan Amice
© CNRS Photothèque/Erwan Amice
© INRA
© INRA
© CNRS Photothèque/Hubert Raguet
© CNRS Photothèque/Hubert Raguet

From financial crisis to climate change, emerging diseases to the threat that human activities pose to ecosystems, the list of challenges Europe faces is long. And as the Eurobarometers that regularly take the pulse of public opinion have shown, Europeans rely on scientific research to meet them!

Is this asking too much of research? To affirm its position and maintain its attractiveness and competitiveness, Europe needs to establish itself as a fully-fledged participant in the production of knowledge. For this it has to flirt with excellence. Optimizing the functioning of European research, managing funds to best advantage and prioritizing research topics play an essential role here. This is where the ‘Forward Looking Activities’ (FLA) come in, with their aim of developing shared visions of the future. Which are the areas in which the Old Continent has every chance to excel by 2020?

Health, agriculture and the environment, three of the ten priority themes of the specific ‘Cooperation’ programme of the Seventh Framework Programme, are prime candidates.


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