Home » Topics » Research & Innovation

A drive forward for economic growth and social development

Mobile phones, as we know them today, computers, cameras and even clothes are the result of intense research and innovations that can have many different sides. When it comes to health, for example, the development of new drugs and therapies for cancer or Alzheimer’s are promoted. In the energy sector, it is all about sustainable clean electricity. And in the transport business, there are many projects that drive forward the development of electric cars or even electric planes. Many of these projects are financed by the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation of the European Union “Horizon 2020”.

In 2012, I was asked by the European Parliament, as one of three MPs, to draft and negotiate the Parliament’s position on the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The European research framework programme funds innovation and science. The grants are intended for scientists working in universities and research institutes, but can also go to innovative technology companies. It was a very exciting and interesting experience for me, as it enabled me to contact many researchers, including young scientists as well, to talk about their ideas and suggestions on how to promote innovation within the European Union. Thanks to the information collected, we were able to shape Horizon 2020 and to put aside €80 billion of the EU budget for this purpose. As a result, Horizon 2020 has become the biggest research framework programme worldwide.

Currently we are drafting the successor programme “Horizon Europe” – and once again I have been nominated as the EPP´s rapporteur.

Brandenburg benefits a lot from the Horizon 2020 programme. Thanks to numerous science and research institutes, our region has enormous potential for innovation. Those 50+ universities and research institutes are very important participants in this programme and consequently guarantee its success.

Horizon 2020 finances, for example, research to improve life in rural areas – a very important topic for Brandenburg where the demographic changes further accentuate rural isolation.
Our region is home to many excellent researchers, institutions and universities. Therefore I encourage projects and initiatives coming from Brandenburg to apply for EU funds.

As Horizon 2020 ends in 2020, we have already started to work on its successor programme “Horizon Europe”. We invite all researchers in Brandenburg to participate in the various consultations for the new framework programme, FP9. A key initiative we will develop within FP9 is the support of regions like Brandenburg. It will be about combining funds from research programmes with funds from European structural and investment funds. For example, in the funding period 2014-2020, Brandenburg has received approximately €850 million from the EU, coming from the European Fund for Regional Development (EFRE).

We have to make sure that these funds also benefit research activities. In Brandenburg, we have an extraordinary research and innovation strategy, focussing on the strengthening of applied science, development and innovation. To contribute even further to excellent research results in Brandenburg, we should combine the potential of all EU funds.

More information can be found here: https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/