Commission launches online consultation to shape Horizon Europe

 

On 16 July, the European Commission published an orientation paper and launched an online consultation on the strategic priorities of Horizon Europe, the EU’s next framework programme for research and innovation (R&I). The consultation opens until 8 September and is addressed to individuals and organisations with an interest in the future EU R&I priorities.

Key elements

The purpose of the published orientation paper is to inform and stimulate a co-design process that will prepare the first Strategic Plan for Horizon Europe, referred to as the strategic planning process. The document is not the Strategic Plan or its draft, but a starting point for debate and new ideas during the co-design process, including the public consultation during the summer 2019.

The results of the consultation are expected to guide the Commission’s work on the Strategic Plan that will outline the policy priorities and targeted impacts of the investments for the first four years of implementation of Horizon Europe (2021-2024).

Why is this relevant for the Avicenna Alliance?

Earlier in April 2019, we informed you that CM&S language was included into the very core of Horizon Europe – into the legislation that spans the full 7 years of the programme. In line with the partial agreement on Horizon Europe reached by the European Parliament and the Council, the Commission has now included CM&S language into its orientation paper and is calling for new ideas to implement the R&I programme.

Healthcare-specific

In its orientation paper, the Commission clearly recognises that new key R&I orientations under the health cluster will support activities aiming at :
“New data-driven approaches, computer models and -simulations and other digital solutions are developed, translated and optimised for the prevention, health care and person-centred care, including smart data infrastructures and AI-based data analytics.”

Moreover, among the five co-funded European Partnerships that are proposed for the first four years of Horizon Europe under Cluster Health, we note that the Commission is planning to fund a partnership on ‘Personalised Medicine’ as of 2023.

Digital, Industry and Space Cluster

The Commission also acknowledges that under Horizon Europe, developments in key digital technologies will: “provide the basis for new computing and programming concepts such as edge computing, and for advances in modelling and simulation (e.g. digital twins).”

More importantly the Commission stresses that CM&S technology is bringing the benefits of digital innovations, notably Artificial Intelligence and big data analytics to “health equipment, novel materials and drugs”.

Next steps

We recommend to the Avicenna Alliance to take part in the online consultation and provide feedback on the Commission’s orientation paper in preparation for its Strategic Plan. This is again an opportunity to stress the need for funding of CM&S technology for the upcoming four years under Horizon Europe. Please note that the consultation deadline is 8 September.