Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn has announced nearly € 6.4 billion of European Commission investment in research and innovation.
This follows her success in getting Member States to agree to keep the target of 3% of GDP for R&D spending, in spite of tighter budgets.
The package, the biggest ever, covers a vast range of scientific disciplines, public policy areas and commercial sectors. This funding will advance scientific boundaries, increase European competitiveness and help solve societal challenges such as climate change, energy and food security, health and an ageing population.
Around 16,000 participants from research organisations, universities and industry, including about 3,000 SMEs, will receive funding. Grants will be awarded through “calls for proposals” (invitations to bid) and evaluations over the next 14 months.
This package is an economic stimulus expected to create more than 165.000 jobs.
It is also a long-term investment in a smarter, sustainable and more inclusive Europe. It is a key element within the EU’s Europe 2020 Strategy and in particular the Innovation Union Flagship, which will be launched in autumn 2010.
Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn said: “Investment in research and innovation is the only smart and lasting way out of crisis and towards sustainable and socially equitable growth. This European package will contribute to new and better products and services, a more competitive and greener Europe, and a better society with a higher quality of life. We are offering researchers and innovators €6.4 billion for cutting-edge projects focusing on big economic and societal challenges: climate change, energy and food security, health and an ageing population. This is a huge and efficient economic stimulus and an investment in our future.”