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16 Jul, 2012

Key Global Issues That Will See €8bn Spent On European Research


Brussels, 12 July 2012 (EU Media release) – The EU’s latest call for research proposals aims to stimulate innovation for growth and jobs. About €8.1bn is available in 2013 for world-class research – key to returning the EU to growth and closing the innovation gap with its main trade competitors, the US and Japan.

Researcher at a desk adjusting a piece of equipment © EU

Research teams from the EU and beyond can apply for funding, which will target such areas as:

  • better health – insight into drug-resistant bacteria, brain diseases
  • marine resources – discovering new species, biotechnology applications, sensor technologies, sustainable management techniques
  • smart cities – developing energy-efficient transport, buildings and data centres, reducing the impact of climate change on urban areas
  • raw-material supply – finding substitutes for critical metals, better techniques for waste recovery, recycling, efficient use of available raw materials
  • secure and clean energy – cheaper and more efficient renewable technologies, next-generation photovoltaics, wind turbines, bioenergy and biofuels, carbon capture and storage technologies, smart electricity grids
  • water management – improving quality, water- and energy- efficient food processing, nanotechnology sensors for environmental monitoring
  • information & communication technologies – expanding use of cloud computing, networks of specialists in neuro-sciences and neuro-robotics
  • supporting researchers – help for young researchers, cross-border collaboration, experienced teams working on cutting-edge research, commercialising discoveries.

About €1.2bn will go to projects involving small businesses, helping them innovate and grow – especially important as they accounted for 85% of the new jobs created in the EU from 2002 to 2010.

Next steps

Most of the invitations to bid for funds were published on 10 July, with more to follow.

This is the last round of grants in the EU’s current €55bn research funding programme for 2007 to 2013. Funds have helped 19,000 research projects and some 55 000 researchers.

The Commission’s proposals for the next research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020, would invest €80bn over the following 7 years.

Research funding is in line with the EU’s “innovation union” – a flagship initiative of a growth and jobs strategy to stimulate and speed up innovation in Europe.

More on research and innovation

Find out more about applying for a research grant